Several years ago, the culinary community went Bacon Crazy, scaring the bejeebies out of pigs across the globe. Our porcine pals kept comforting one another with a This too shall pass mentality, except that soon enough they found themselves changing their motto to He too has passed.
Wilburs across the world have come to accept the reality that they’re a hot commodity and that potentially their only hope may be to enroll in speech therapy. Heck, it worked for one guy, right?
Regardless, this being the few weeks before Turkey Day when cooks are hustling about, trying new recipes they may unleash on Aunt Marge and Uncle Gustav, there is an overabundance of all things starchy. For those of us who have been in the food industry for a long time, the first thing that pops into our minds after someone says the words sweet potato are of course the words bacon candy. Right? Do I hear an “Amen!” No? This could be because I am not in the food industry. But I have connections to the industry. Like the Internet. I am occasionally connected to it.
Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Bacon-Sesame Brittle
Recipe adapted from The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen (March 2012)
1 12 ounce package of thick-slab bacon
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
6 medium sweet potatoes (6–8 ounces each)
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons white miso (fermented soybean paste or shiro miso)
1 1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely grated (about 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
Chives- the dark part of stems, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 400°
Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Lay bacon on one sheet and place in oven, cooking until most of the fat is rendered and bacon is starting to crisp. Transfer bacon to a platter lined with paper towel, but reserve drippings.
Crumble bacon into large chunks and put into frying pan along with 1 Tbsp. drippings, sugar, and sesame seeds. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar turns the color of milk chocolate, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to prepared baking sheet and use a spatula to spread out evenly; let cool. Break brittle into shards.
Place sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheeting the heated oven. Roast until tender, 45–55 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle.
Slice potatoes in half lengthwise. Working over a large bowl, scoop out flesh from 8 halves, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick layer inside skins. Place potato halves on same foil-lined baking sheet. Scoop flesh from remaining 4 halves; discard skins. Mash flesh with a whisk; add eggs, butter, miso, ginger and pepper and stir until mixture is smooth. Spoon or pipe filling into reserved skins.
Bake potatoes until the tops are lightly puffed and golden brown, 30–35 minutes. Top potatoes with bacon-sesame brittle and chives.
Remind pigs to live life to the fullest.