Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gloria's Spicy Maple-Bacon Sweet Potatoes

This recipe combines three of my favorite foods: bacon, sweet potatoes and maple syrup. Make this as spicy as you'd like--or not--by which type of ground pepper you use, and how much. I used ground habanero, and it turned out to be just the type of fiery heat I enjoy. Folks who want a little less of a burn can use red pepper or cayenne, or even ground black pepper. Use real maple syrup, not "pancake syrup" or artificial maple syrup. I prefer the darker Grade B maple syrup, which is also less expensive than Grade A or Fancy, because it has a deeper, richer flavor. This recipe makes 2 servings as a side dish, and you can easily double or triple it to serve more. My Spicy Maple-Bacon Sweet Potatoes are a wonderful accompaniment to pork chops, roast chicken, grilled steak, and other hearty fare.

1 slice bacon
1 large sweet potato
1 Tbs maple syrup
1/4 tsp ground pepper: black, cayenne, red or habanero

In a large skillet, fry the bacon until crisp. While the bacon is cooking, wash the sweet potato and dry it with a paper towel. Cut the unpeeled sweet potato in half crosswise, then each half lengthwise. Slice each sweet potato quarter into 1/4" thick half-moon slices. When bacon is fully cooked, remove the bacon from the pan and place on a paper towel to absorb grease. Leave the bacon fat in the skillet, add the sweet potatoes and stir to lightly coat all slices with the fat (if necessary, you can add a little butter if there's not enough bacon fat). Cover and cook over medium heat for several minutes, stirring from time to time, until the sweet potato slices soften and start turning golden brown. Be careful not to overcook or they can get mushy. When the sweet potato is cooked, remove skillet from heat and crumble the bacon into the skillet. Add the ground pepper and maple syrup (it will sizzle), then stir with a spatula to combine all ingredients, being careful not to break up the sweet potato slices. Serve hot.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

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