Paula: Confession: when I was a kid I hated sweet potatoes, because they were usually prepared with other sweet ingredients (brown sugar, marshmallows, etc.). The memory of those cloying, mostly mushy dishes still give me a vague sense of panic. Later in life, when I tasted sweet potatoes roasted with savory ingredients (olive oil, salt, herbs, warm spices), I fell in love.
Scott: I’m just gonna sit over here and be quiet because I happen to love brown sugar, butter and marshmallows on sweet potatoes - er, on everything. I mean, I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that recipe was handed down from the Pilgrims.
Paula: There is no shame in your Southern sweet tooth, or bumper sticker that reads “I heart Yams.” My Midwestern relatives likely consider my proclivities a genetic flaw. This sweet potato treatment is right up my alley, especially because a grill is involved. These crispy wedges have the appeal of sweet potato fries, (bonus, they’re healthier!) and the warm, smoky spices and charred caramelized notes anchor the sweetness. I can imagine serving these as a main course (on a bed of greens, with a creamy yogurt or tahini-based dressing) or alongside burgers.
Scott: I do love a good, hearty yam and really can’t wait to try this. I’m getting together with my extended family this weekend and will need to satisfy a lot of people, young and old. This is definitely on the menu.
Scott Postscript: I made these to serve alongside some grilled burgers at the lake house this weekend. See images. Total crowd pleaser. Watch for the protip at the end of the recipe because flipping is a necessity to ensure you get a good all-around crunchy exterior.
Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges with Wicked Winona
Serves 4 to 6
- 4 large sweet potatoes (preferably organic)
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons Fire & Smoke Society Wicked Winona
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro
Place the potatoes in a large pot of cold water, add 2 tablespoons of salt and bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and let cool while you build a fire.
Prepare a charcoal grill for two-zone cooking and build a medium-high fire, or heat a gas grill to high. Clean and oil the grill grates.
Meanwhile, slice each potato in half lengthwise, and then slice each half into 3 or 4 wedges. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and Wicked Winona. Brush the wedges with the seasoned oil.
When the coals are glowing red and covered with a fine gray ash, grill the wedges until nicely charred on both sides and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. (Pro tip: to help preserve the crusty exterior, use a slotted fish spatula to help you flip the wedges.)
Remove from the heat, arrange on a platter and top with flaky salt and chopped herbs.
Grill-side banter provided by food writer, cookbook author and grilling enthusiast, Paula Disbrowe, and infamous grill nerd and co-owner of PK Grills, Scott Moody.
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