Double cooked sweet potato slices with a crispy, crunchy topping of chopped chorizo and bacon, with herby sour cream sauce. It’s an irresistible combination of sweet, salty and spicy or soft, crispy and creamy.
In recent years sweet potato has acquired a somewhat cult status. It is one of the hipster and wellness gurus’ foodstuffs together with those hitherto obscure things like quinoa, chia and kale.
The cult status is due to the professed nutritional benefits of sweet potatoes, especially as opposed to poor old ordinary spuds. As it happens, it’s a fallacy.
Sweet vs. ordinary potato
They have ever so slightly fewer calories and carbs overall than white potatoes, but far more sugars where white spuds contain resistant starch, which is indigestible (in simple terms, it goes right through you which is a good thing).
Sweet potatoes are much richer in vitamin A, naturally, as all things red. They have a little more vitamin C but white tubers beat them on the head for vitamins B, potassium and iron.
Glycaemic load? Both are quite close together in the middle of the scale. Plus, if you think about how sweet potatoes are usually presented – as fries or wedges – a baked ordinary potato certainly wins, healthwise.
Potatoes and weight loss
Apart from staunch keto afficionados, we need not worry about eating either type of potatoes when weight-conscious, but about what we put on them (diet alert: my recipe does not score any points in that aspect).
Without lots of butter, cream, toppings and cheese, potatoes have a very efficient filling quality and make us feel sated for much longer than carb-free but highly processed foods.
There is, in fact, anecdotal evidence that a potato diet is conducive to weight loss, which Chris Voigt, head of the Washington State Potato Commission proved in 2010. He ate just potatoes for 2 months and lost something like 20 pounds while retaining reasonably good blood measures.
I have not managed to find out about his teeth or bones, so I’ll urge you not to try it at home, but in a balanced diet a modestly dressed potato now and then definitely can’t do any harm.
The recipe below is not propitious for the calorie-counting: bacon! chorizo! cream! and the original Kim Severson’s version also has pecans sprinkled over the dish. So it’s not for the (awkward pun alert) faint-hearted, but I’ve modified it to skip confiting the sweet potatoes in almost a litre of olive oil and bacon fat.
As it is below, it’s simply roasted sweet potato slices dressed with chorizo and bacon crumbs. The amount of the crumbs is modest and I bake the sweet potatoes before roasting the slices, so they spend less time roasting in the (albeit glorious) bacon and chorizo fat.
And it is an unbelievably delicious dish.
Do you need to double cook the potatoes?
I bake the sweet spuds first, whole and unpeeled, for about 40 minutes – so shorter than for ready-to-eat.
Then I use the fat rendered by the bacon and chorizo to roast them, peeled and sliced, just for 10 minutes on each side, so they caramelise slightly. You could do it on the hob in an appropriate dish and it would be even quicker.
But take a shortcut if you like: slice raw sweet potatoes and roast them in the bacon fat until tender and caramelised to your liking.
How to serve these sweet potatoes?
They are great as a main course, with a side of green salad or zingy carrots. But they can also be an opulent side dish with roast chicken or lamb.
It’s the combination of soft and sweet potatoes, the salty, spicy and crispy bacon and chorizo, with fresh and smooth sour cream sauce that it completely irresistible. As I warned, not ideal for the dieting folks.
More sweet potato recipes
Not everything has to have bacon in it! These sweet potatoes are stuffed with black beans and topped with cheese, a healthy and delicious vegetarian meal.
But a little bacon doesn’t go amiss in the dish of cheesy sweet potato tray bake with peppers and tomatoes.
Sweet potato chips, oven baked, will go well in this veggie version of steak and chips.
More chorizo recipes
Ordinary potatoes this time feature in the simple potato and chorizo tray bake.
It also goes fantastically well with beans: like here, in the butter bean and chorizo casserole.
And when it’s on its own, you can hasselback it and grill it.