Although not related to the ordinary potato, sweet potatoes can be prepared and served in the same way. They have a creamy flesh with a sweet flavour that is similar to squash or roasted chestnuts. There are two main types of sweet potato, red skinned with a white flesh and brown skinned with a bright orange flesh. Sweet potatoes are a staple food in the West Indies, Africa and Asia and are increasingly popular in Western cuisines. Choose firm sweet potatoes with undamaged skin.
How to Use
Sweet potato can be served roasted, mashed or baked as an accompanying vegetable or added to stews, soups, curries, pasta dishes or vegetable bakes. Mashed sweet potato makes a tasty alternative topping for shepherd's pie or fish pie.
How to Prepare
For boiling, peel and cut into even-sized chunks. For baking, scrub well and remove any fibrous roots.
How to Cook
Sweet potatoes can be boiled, baked, roasted or microwaved. To boil, bring a pan of water to the boil, add the prepared chunks of sweet potato and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. To bake sweet potatoes, preheat the oven to 200C, gas mark 6. Prick the cleaned sweet potatoes several times with a fork and place in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes-1 hour, depending on their size, or until tender. To roast sweet potatoes, preheat the oven to 200C, gas mark 6. Par-boil prepared potato chunks for 5 minutes in boiling salted water. Add 150 ml olive oil to a roasting tin and preheat in the oven for 5 minutes. Add the drained sweet potatoes to the tin and coat in the oil. Roast for 30-45 minutes, basting occasionally with the oil, until crunchy and golden brown. Microwave sweet potatoes in the same way as potatoes; wash thoroughly then pierce the skins in several places and cook on FULL power for approximately 8-10 minutes for a large sweet potato, or according to the microwave oven manufacturer’s instructions. Serve with soured cream and black pepper.
How to Store
Sweet potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark, frost-free and dry place, but not in the fridge. Remove sweet potatoes from the plastic bag that they are usually sold in and transfer to a brown paper bag if possible.