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Curried Sweet Potato Pancakes

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These colorful and tasty sweet potato pancakes are a festive way to start a dinner party, or they make a great-tasting side-dish. The pancakes look pretty topped with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt and a sprig of fresh mint. They are best served right after pan-frying. To hold the pancakes until the entire batch has been cooked, you can layer them on a baking sheet and put them in a warm oven.

Note: Choose firm, smooth skinned sweet potatoes without soft spots or blemishes. Sweet potatoes are poor keepers. Store them in a dark, cool place for one to two weeks. Do not substitute canned sweet potatoes for this recipe.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork. Microwave on high power until tender, about 12 minutes. Scoop out enough of the cooked potato from the skin to fill a 1-cup measure. Transfer to a medium bowl.

2. Add the butter and mash well. Mix in the mint, salt, and curry powder, and then beat in the egg. Whisk the flour, bread crumbs, and baking powder into the potato mixture to make a dough.

3. Pour enough oil into a heavy, medium saucepan to reach depth of 1 inch; heat the oil to 325°F. Working in batches, drop the batter by heaping teaspoonfuls into the oil. Fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 1 1/2 minutes per side.

4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer fritters to a baking sheet; place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve hot.


Pan-Frying Tips

• Don't overcrowd the pan. Overcrowding will produce excess moisture and therefore, will steam the food not brown it. the oil to return to the proper temperature, and add more oil if necessary.

• The ingredients should be at room temperature before pan-frying. Cold food will lower the temperature of the oil in the pan.

• Be sure to choose a fat that will stand up to a high temperature. Oils with a high smoke point include safflower, corn, peanut and grapeseed oils. Lard and vegetable shortening are also used for frying. Olive oil is less suitable because it has a low smoke point. The smoke point of oil is the temperature at which the fat begins to break down and give off smoke and an acrid smell.
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