This is the first of two recipes that I’ll be testing and sharing from Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek’s new cookbook, Starters & Sides Made Easy.
Yes, that’s right, whiskey! I went and put whiskey on my sweet potatoes. That’s the reason I was excited to see this recipe, actually. Because we have a bottle of whiskey in the pantry that’s been sitting there, untouched, for two years. Some friends gave it to us when they moved, and I just haven’t known what to do with it.
Here, you make a quick whiskey sauce out of the naughty stuff and some brown sugar, honey, and oil. You brush it over sweet potatoes at the mid-way point of roasting, and then…you get…
Well. Here’s where things got a little disappointing. I was waiting for the wow, but all I felt was “nice.” To me, these tasted like sweet potatoes with some extra subtle sweetness. I’m really not sure what the whiskey did.
My take-away from the recipe is more about the baking method than anything else. I loved that roasting small, skinny sweet potatoes for 20 minutes, halving them, and then roasting them for another 20 minutes yields elegant-looking, perfectly baked taters. Next time, I’ll probably stick to my usual oil and spices.
Recipe at a glance:
- Accessible ingredients? Yes. And if you don’t keep whiskey in the house, I’m sure a neighbor would be happy to give you a tablespoon of theirs.
- Multiple steps required? Nope. Quick and simple, just how I like it.
- Left with lots of dirty dishes? No.
- Taste worth the effort? Since there wasn’t much effort involved, I guess so. But I didn’t taste much beyond a little extra sweetness.
- Make again? I’d definitely use the method again. It’s a great way to use those scrawny sweet potatoes.
Tweaked from Starters & Sides Made Easy
Yield: Serves 4 as a side
- 6 small (like, scrawny small) sweet potatoes
- 4 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 1 Tbsp whiskey
- 1 Tbsp honey
- Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 425 F/220 C. Wash and dry sweet potatoes and place them, whole, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make the whiskey sauce: In a small saucepan, mix together sugar, oil, whiskey, and honey over low heat. Stir 1-2 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and carefully cut them in half lengthwise. Brush with the whiskey sauce, sprinkle salt and pepper over the tops, and return to the oven for 20 more minutes. Serve hot.
Make ahead: The book says not to do this, but I found that making them several hours in advance and then reheating in the oven before serving was totally fine.
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