Grilled Hasselback Sweet Potatoes — The Weekender

By: Marisa McClellan

I am something of a sweet potato fanatic. As soon as the weather starts to turn crisp, I stock up on those dense orange tubers and eat them at least three times a week. I'm especially fond of them when they've been sliced into rounds, rubbed with a little olive oil and roasted until crisp in a hot oven.

This year for Thanksgiving, I didn't get the chance to make a sweet potato dish (I was assigned mashed potatoes), and so, in order to satisfy my obsession, I've been making an array of sweet potato dishes that would have fit in nicely as part of a celebratory meal.

I've made a vanilla-flecked puree. I've formed grated shreds into fritters. I folded together a batch of sweet potato biscuits for a weekend brunch with friends. And I made Bobby Flay's Grilled Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Molasses Nutmeg Butter.

A hasselback potato is one that has had a number of slits cut into it. The idea is that as it cooks, the potato spreads and separates into a fan of crisp slices and tender insides. Draped with a compound butter made from molasses, orange zest, nutmeg and cilantro, these potatoes walk the line between side dish and dessert in a most delightful way.

If you didn't meet your monthly sweet potato quota on Thursday, I highly recommend that you make these for your very next Weekender.

Before you start cooking, read these tips:

— Bobby instructs you to grill these potatoes. If you've put your grill away for the winter, however, a moderate oven will also fit the bill.

— You may have leftover butter, even after generous portioning over the potatoes. Save it and spread it on toasted gingerbread.

— The last step of this recipe is the addition of rum that has been heated and set alight. I live in an apartment with very sensitive smoke detectors, so I chose to skip this step. Instead, I folded a small pour of rum into the compound butter, for a little hit of booze. If you’re feeding kids, just leave it out entirely.

Marisa McClellan is a food writer and canning teacher who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Find more of her food (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at her blog, Food in Jars. Her first cookbook, Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round, is now available.

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