The Joy of Grilled Sweet Potatoes
Whether you consider 'em a dessert or a main course, grilled sweet potatoes add a tasty touch to any barbecue.
Saturday, June 24, 2017
They're not quite chocolate, but grilled sweet potatoes just might be one of the world's most perfect foods. Somehow, throwing these orange tubers on the barbie results in a triumph of natural confection and culinary experimentation that you simply shouldn't miss.
Plus, they have grill marks on 'em, which makes everything better. Except maybe ice cream.
Now, before you ask, I'm not talking about yams here. Get that out of your head. Yams look and kind of taste like sweet potatoes, but aren’t even closely related. They're acceptable if you must, but when it comes to American barbecue, it's best to stick with sweet potatoes, which are native to the New World.
BTW, if you have a choice between firm or soft sweet potatoes, go with the soft kind. They cook up better on the grill.
Probably the easiest way to grill a sweet potato is to wrap a whole one in aluminum foil, as you would a plain potato, and let it cook over hot coals for a good 45 minutes or more. Then break it open and serve it up with a dusting of brown sugar, a little cinnamon, and plenty of butter. Heaven!
Of course, you can go a bit fancier if you like, and prep your "sweet taters" with a nice sauce to bring out the flavor. This provides an exquisite counterpoint to a juicy steak. Here's one option; for two pounds of sweet potatoes, you'll need:
3 tablespoons of honey
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of water
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Slice the potatoes into wedges at least one inch thick. They have to be big so they won't fall through the grill, right? But that makes them a bit slow to cook, so zap them in the microwave for about three minutes to speed up the process.
Once you've done that, combine all the ingredients except the oil in a bowl, then lightly toss the potato wedges in the mix. Putting the remaining sauce aside, arrange the wedges on a platter and brush them lightly with the sesame oil.
Finally, transfer the wedges to a medium-hot grill and cook them for 15 minutes, turning them once. Be careful to preserve the tasty grill marks here, and baste them now and again with your sauce.
Good Enough to Dream About
Now, your new favorite BBQ dish will taste good no matter what the temperature, but I recommend that you tuck into them while they're still piping hot to get the maximum benefit. Once you do, I suspect you'll make grilled sweet potatoes a part of every barbecue menu you plan thereafter.