Recipe Grilled Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with a Pork Topping

Mountain Cat

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sweet-served_copy_566x454.jpg

Above photo: after grilled and topped.

My source recipe (but only for the sweet potatoes...): Grilled Hassleback Sweet Potatoes with Molasses-Nutmeg Butter Recipe | Bobby Flay | Food Network


I adapted the above, out of the firm belief that sweet potatoes should remain not further sweetened, so I didn't add the molasses. They're named "sweet" potatoes because they already are, and deliciously so! The only topping ingredient I really wanted to keep from this was the nutmeg. Otherwise, indeed the only thing I paid attention to from Bobby Flay's recipe was how best to cook/grill the sweet potatoes themselves. Sorry, Bobby...

I'm adding in the pork because I went to a culinary pot luck, and because I recently had purchased half a heritage hog no longer on its hooves.

sweet-hb-.jpg


The mashed regular potato and the cream cheese got added as I developed the topping, because I wanted something to bind the other topping ingredients together. I am glad I did.

Serves 6.

Grilled Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Pork


INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 small-medium sized sweet potatoes (one per person). Cut off ends and any bad spots.
  • 2 strips of (streaky) bacon – which is the regular stuff in the US.
  • 1 pork loin chop. Mine was bone-in, but you won’t be using the bone.
  • About 5-6 ounces/150 grams onion (yellow, white or red), diced into small portions.
  • One medium sized yellow/gold (ie, a Yukon gold) potato.
  • 2 ounces cream cheese.
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground clove
  • ¼ teaspoon your favorite hot sauce. (Mine had Scotch bonnet in it – feel free to adapt amount you add to your (and your guests’) taste preferences.)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

METHOD:

Simmer sweet potatoes in sufficient water to cover, covering with a lid, for about 20 minutes on medium heat – but test towards the end to see if a fork can easily puncture them.

Remove from heat and from water onto a fresh surface. Cool enough that you can hold one end of the sweet potatoes so as to make a Hasselback presentation – which you will do using a sharp knife to cut about 3/4ths or so the way through the potato at ¼ inch (0.65 cm) or so increments.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet to a crispy but not burnt done-ness, using its own fat. Remove bacon onto a paper towel to drain. When cool enough, break into small fragments with your fingers. Set aside.


In a pot with salted water, simmer that Yukon (or other gold/yellow) potato until quite salt, about 20 minutes, while you work on the next steps in the skillet.

In the same skillet, with the bacon fat remaining, add the pork chop, with a dash of salt and ground pepper. Cook until done on each side – timing here will depend on the thickness of the cut. Juices should run free. (My chop was too thin to insert a thermometer, but do so if you need.) Set aside to cool.

In that same skillet, with the bacon fat remaining, add the diced onion, and sauté on medium low heat until very softened. At least 15 minutes. (You are also welcome to caramelize by cooking with frequent mixing, for the 40 minutes this usually requires. If the onion requires more oil, add a dash of grapeseed, avocado oil, or a slice of butter.)

Meanwhile, dice up the pork chop, discarding any extraneous fat (and the bone, if it’s there). Dice fine, about 1/3 or so inch chunks (0.8 cm), but no need to measure.

Add to the skillet with the onion, and then add the nutmeg, cloves, and that dab of hot sauce. Continue to cook, reducing heat as needed.

Meanwhile, mash up that potato (preferentially leave skin on). Mix in the cream cheese.

Add the bacon, potato, and cream cheese to the skillet, and merge.

Taste, and adjust seasonings, and stir that in as needed.

Two Options Here:

A: In your own immediate-access back yard – keep the skillet toppings for the Hasselback’s warm on your cooktop back burner, on a warm setting, covered. OR

B: Taking to a pot luck elsewhere: Wrap the contents of that skillet into a foil packet, making that packet reasonably flat for re-heating speed purposes – maybe a half inch thick.


TO GRILL:


Set up your charcoal or propane grill as you would usually do. Adding seasoned wood chips is a great idea to impart additional flavor. This is by no means necessary.

On a hot grill, lay out the Hasselback sweet potatoes, slit sides up of course. Lay down the foil package (if you need to use Option B), and grill for 15 minutes.

Remove the Hasselbacks from the grill, and top each with a few dollops of the hot/warm topping, and serve.
 

flyinglentris

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Wow! This is somewhat similar to a recipe I was planning. I'll have to change it up a bit.
 
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