Like Madonna and Bono, you know exactly whom I’m talking about just by that first name.
Dorie Greenspan — the incomparable James Beard Award-winning cookbook writer whose fans are legion.
We always want recipes that won’t fail, that can be counted on, that won’t disappoint. But perhaps no more so than during the holidays when we just can’t afford to have a dish fall flat when we’re entertaining big time.
Greenspan’s recipes meet that criteria. And in her newest cookbook, “Everyday Dorie” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), of which I received a review copy, she delivers a slew of recipes for the food she makes most often at home, whether it be in Paris, New York or Connecticut.
These are dishes that she considers basic, meaning they’re uncomplicated to make, but still pack on a real depth of flavor. Best yet, for most every recipe, she gives suggestions on ways to riff on it.
There’s everything from “Potato Chowder Lots of Ways,” “Bourbon-Roasted Pork Loin” and “Holiday Fish Soup” to “Granola-Topped Squash and Root Vegetable Gratin” and “Apple Custard Crisp.”
With Thanksgiving days away, “Miso-Maple-Jammed Sweet Potatoes” called out to me loud and clear.
This recipe couldn’t be simpler. It’s just roasted sweet potatoes that get a big jolt of deliciousness from a jammy concoction of miso, maple syrup, ponzu and Sriracha. That jam is full of savory umami that plays so well with the inherent sweetness of the potatoes. The jam is a little funky salty, a touch sweet, a tad citrusy and boasts a subtle spicy warmth. Truth be told, this jam would be fabulous stirred into Asian noodles or even mixed into fresh popped popcorn.
Greenspan gives a couple ways to serve this: as just-out-of-the-oven whole sweet potatoes split open with the jam spooned inside; as fork tine-grooved sweet potato slices brushed with the jam; and as a mash.
I actually like that latter way, which she recommended for storing any leftovers, as the ideal way to serve this on Thanksgiving. Just peel the skins off the cooked sweet potatoes, mash the flesh with some of the miso-maple jam, then make a decorative trough in the mash to fill with more of the jam so it’s visible. Let guests help themselves at the table.
This recipe easily doubles or triples, too. Because it’s so divine, you really can’t make too much of it.
Miso-Maple-Jammed Sweet Potatoes
4 medium sweet potatoes or yams, scrubbed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons light (white or yellow) miso
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon ponzu sauce
Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.
Using a paring knife, poke a few holes in each potato. Place the potatoes on the baking sheet and roast for about 1 hour, until they give when prodded or squeezed. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Turn off the heat and gently whisk in the miso until fully incorporated. Whisk in the maple syrup, ponzu, 1/4 teaspoon Sriracha, a big pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Even though the miso and ponzu are salty, you need more salt to counterbalance the syrup and enliven the jam. Taste and add mor Sriracha, salt and/or pepper, if you’d like. (You can pack the jam airtight and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)
The simplet way to serve this dish is to let everyone split their potatoes and slather on some of the miso jam. Alternately, line the baking sheet that the potatoes roasted on with clean foil and lightly butter or oil it. Cut the potatoes into chunks and place them flesh side up on the sheet. Press them down with a fork — don’t overdo it, you just want to create a few grooves — and spread some jam over each chunk. Return the potatoes to the oven for another 10 minutes.
Pass the rest of the maple-miso jam at the table, so that everyone can have a little more.
Storing: The potatoes are meant to be served as soon as they’re roasted. However, if you have leftovers, you can remove them from their skins, mash them with some miso jam and reheat them in a 350-degree oven.
From “Everyday Dorie” by Dorie Greenspan
More Sweet Potato Love: Spiced Sweet Potato Bundt Cake