This recipe comes from the Genius Recipe section of the Food 52 website. The genius part is that you steam and then bake the sweet potatoes so they come out creamy and perfectly soft on the inside, while also getting that extra flavour boost from caramelization on the outside. Finish them off with a mixture of salty, sweet, crunchy, creamy toppings and you’ve got a dish that hits all of the notes. They might not look like much but they are incredibly good.
Baked Sweet Potatoes With Maple Crème Fraîche
4 sweet potatoes (each 7 ounces [200 grams]), preferably a yellow-fleshed variety such as Garnet or Jewel
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
Fine sea salt
For the dressing & garnish:
1/2 cup (120 grams) crème fraîche or sour cream
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons fish sauce (optional, see Author Notes)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Fine sea salt
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, both green and white parts
2 tablespoons roasted peanuts
1 teaspoon red chile flakes, such as Aleppo, Maras, or Urfa
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
To prepare the sweet potatoes, heat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
Rinse and scrub the sweet potatoes under running tap water. Slice them lengthwise and place them in a roasting pan, cut side facing up. Brush or smear with the butter and season with salt.
Cover the pan with a sheet of aluminum foil and press around the edges to seal snugly. Bake for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove the foil, flip the sweet potatoes, and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes more, until the sweet potatoes are cooked thoroughly and are tender; a knife inserted into the center of the sweet potato should slide through easily. Remove from the heat and let rest for 5 minutes.
To prepare the dressing, in a small bowl, combine the crème fraîche, maple syrup, lime juice, fish sauce, if using, and pepper. Taste and season with salt.
To serve, top the warm roasted potatoes with a few tablespoons of the maple crème fraîche dressing. Sprinkle with the scallions, peanuts, chile flakes, and lime zest. Serve with the extra dressing on the side.