Thursday, April 15, 2010

Southern Fried Sweet Potatoes - A recipe

Jeremy turned 20 this week.  In my home, my children get to pick their birthday dinners - I'll pretty much cook anything they want...within reason.  Jeremy picked the following:  a salad with coconut ranch dressing, southern fried chicken, corn, southern fried sweet potatoes, biscuits and milk gravy and a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  I mentioned this menu to a friend who asked..."what are fried sweet potatoes?".  I thought about revoking her southern cooking license!  But I love her too much and she's taught me so much about cooking I just couldn't do that!

I can remember eating fried sweet potatoes at my Grandma's house when I was a little girl. So...I thought I'd share the recipe for this delicious side dish.  Just a warning...these are Southern fried sweet potatoes so that should tell you right there that this recipe involves butter and sugar.....a good bit of butter and sugar! They aren't served terribly often in my home so I don't mind.

Start the day before you want to serve this dish.  Bake your sweet potatoes until soft when poked with a fork. Take them out of the oven and let them cool - you can leave them till the next day.  They will look like this:

The day you want to make the dish peel your sweet potatoes.  This is really easy - the skins will have pretty much separated from the meat of the potato - just use your fingers and peel them off.  The skins are great for the compost pile or your worm bin!

Your peeled potatoes should look something like this.

Now it is time to slice them!  The smaller potatoes just slice in half length-wise.  Some of the thicker potatoes may need to be sliced into thirds length-wise.  You want long thin slices - they are easier to fry this way.  Lay your slices on a cookie sheet or into a long pan.  I like to use a pan.  Then sprinkle them with sugar. I did mention we'd be using sugar didn't I?

They should look like this.  Next, you need to fire up the cast iron skillet!  Put some butter in the skillet and let it melt.  The amount of butter will depend on the size of the skillet and the amount you are cooking. I was feeding a lot of people so I used an entire stick in my largest cast iron skillet.  When the butter is melted and hot you will begin adding the sweet potatoes.  Keep them in a single layer as best you can.

You want to cook them until the butter and sugar caramelize, then flip the slices over and let it caramelize the other side.  Once I get all the slices in the pan, I brush any sugar left on the cookie sheet or in the pan on top of the potatoes in the skillet.  Waste not, want not..Grandma always said that! Her hips were a dead give away!

Be very careful at this point.  The potatoes can go from caramelized to burned in a flash!  Watch your heat!

The final dish...

I can't begin to tell you how delicious this is....or how quickly it will disappear!




  1. Oh, yum. Your grandma's hips will have nothin' on mine if I get around to making these!

    And happy birthday to Jeremy! 20!

  2. I love sweet potato fries!! We cut the potato into strips like fries, and then cover them with olive oil, and bake them in the oven. A certain someone in my household loves them with mayonaise!

    I've also sliced the sweet potatoes thin and fried them in coconut oil! When done, sprinkle with some sea salt. Yum!

  3. That sounds so yummy! One of our daughters just turned 10 and we had her special meal tonight! She chose meatballs, squash caserole, green beans, rolls and homemade ice cream cake. It is always so fun to me to see what they will request each year.

  4. Sounds delicious!
    Thanks for the photo instructions :)


  5. I am gonna have to try this recipe! I love sweet potatoes!

  6. Almost the recipe I grew up with, except grandma used brown sugar..yum, yum.


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