As a food for human consumption, the sweet potato has been, and always will be, held in very high esteem and its popularity will increase in this direction as we learn more about its many possibilities.
There is an idea prevalent that anybody can cook sweet potatoes.
“This is a very great mistake, and the many, many dishes of ill-cooked potatoes that are placed before me as I travel over the South prompt me to believe that these recipes will be of value (many of which I have copied verbatim from Bulletin No. 129, U. S. Department of Agriculture).”
The above bulletin so aptly adds the following:
“The delicate flavor of a sweet potato is lost if it is not cooked properly. Steaming develops and preserves the flavor better than boiling, and baking better than steaming. A sweet potato cooked quickly is not well cooked. Time is an essential element. Twenty minutes may serve to bake a sweet potato so that a hungry man can eat it, but if the flavor is an object, it should be kept in the oven for an hour.” George Washington Carver
Boil or steam like white potatoes without breaking the skin. If boiled, pour off the water as soon as done, cover the pot with a cloth and let stand on the back part of the range a few minutes before serving.
Scrub with a brush and rinse with water until thoroughly clean. Bake like white potatoes, without breaking the skin. When done break the skin in one place in the form of a cross, forcing the meat partly out, cap with butter and serve.
Potatoes from 1 to 1 and 1/2 inches in diameter, and from 5 to 6 inches long, are the most desirable for baking — the flavor seems to be far superior to the larger kinds, or the round or irregular sort.
In this method the sweetness and piquancy of the potato is brought out in a manner hardly obtainable in any other way. Select the same kind of potatoes as described above for baking; cover them with warm ashes to a depth of 4 inches, upon this place live coals and hot cinders; let bake slowly for at least two hours. Remove the ashes with a soft brush and serve while hot with butter.
Cut in slices lengthwise and fry in deep grease, same as white potatoes. Care must be taken to not allow them to become hard and dry.
Cut in thin slices, steam until nearly done, allow the surplus water to drain off or dry between napkins, fry in deep fat to a light brown. This makes a fine breakfast dish. A little salt adds to its flavor.
Boil in skins. When tender, remove skins; mash and beat until light. To each pint of potatoes, add 1/2 pint of milk, 1/2 pint of cream and four well beaten eggs; add 1 1/2 teacups of sugar (less if the potatoes are very sweet). Add spice, cinnamon and ginger to taste; one ground clove will improve it. Bake with bottom crust only. The above is enough for five or six pies.
Line a deep baking dish with a rich sheet of pastry. Parboil the number of potatoes desired. When two thirds done remove the skins, slice lengthwise, very thin, cover the dish to a depth of 2 inches, sprinkle with ground allspice and a dash of ginger, cloves and nutmeg. To a pie sufficient for six people, scatter around the top in small pieces a lump of butter the size of a hen’s egg; add one teacupful of sugar and 1/2 teacupful of molasses. Add 1/2 pint of cream, dust a little flour over the top sparingly; cover with hot water, put on upper crust, crimp edges and bake in a moderate oven until done. Serve hot, with or without sauce.
Boil and cut in halves medium-sized sweet potatoes, lay evenly in braising pan, baste with syrup and butter warmed together, sprinkle lightly with brown sugar, put in hot oven until brown, and serve in the syrup.
Cut in slices 1/2 inch thick, wash and place in deep sauce pan; spread with butter; season with a little grated nutmeg and salt; moisten with broth or water, cover and let simmer over a slow fire for three fourths of an hour, turning the slices so that they will glace on both sides. Serve with drawn butter or other sauce.
Prepare the potatoes the same as for No. 6. Proceed to fill the dish the same as for layer cake, rolling out the layer of dough quite thin and spreading the mixture on in layers about 1/4 of an inch thick. Proceed until the dish is full; add to each layer just enough water to cook the layer of crust. Bake until thoroughly done, serve hot with drawn butter or hard sauce.
Roast the beef and make brown gravy. Take the sweet potatoes of medium size, previously baked; remove the skin and garnish the dish with the potatoes. Serve the potatoes with the beef.
Parboil the desired number of potatoes with the peelings on until nearly done; remove and peel; lay in the baking dish with the nearly done roast; cook until done, and serve with the pork.
Select a desirable piece of fresh pork; bake until nearly done; dip or pour off as much of the grease as possible; prepare the potatoes the same as for No. 12. Lay them in the gravy and slightly brown with the meat until done.
Steam, pare and cut in slices 3/8 of an inch thick; lay the slices in a double boiler; salt; cover with melted butter, and broil over a slow fire; serve in folded napkins.
Bake, then cut off one end and scoop out the inside; season with butter, pepper and salt; beat until light; replace in the skin; close with the piece cut off and put into the oven to heat through. Serve in napkins. Suitable for luncheon.
Prepare the same as for No. 15, to which add to every pint of potato 1/4 pint of minced ham; mix thoroughly, fill the hulls, heat and serve.
Cut cold baked sweet potatoes into slices and put into an earthen dish; add sugar and butter to each layer and bake until slightly brown.
Take two cupfuls of mashed, boiled, steamed or baked sweet potatoes; add the beaten yolks of two eggs and season to taste; stir over the fire until the mass parts from the sides of the pan. When cold form into small croquettes, roll in the egg and breadcrumbs, and fry in hot lard to amber color. Serve on napkins.
Prepare the same as for croquettes, make into balls and enclose within the center of minced meat.
Take mashed, boiled, steamed or baked sweet potatoes; season and add enough hot milk to moisten; serve like mashed white potatoes, or put in pudding dish; dress the top with egg and brown in oven; serve with sauce.
Cut cold, boiled or stewed sweet potatoes into slices 1/4 of an inch thick; add butter, sugar, pepper and salt and put into hot oven and brown.
Wash and peel the potatoes; slice very thin; put in baking dish in layers; season each layer with salt, butter, 1/2 teacup of sugar, a dash of spice, nutmeg and ginger, cover with milk that has been made 1/2 cream; bake in moderate oven until tender; serve hot.
Wash and pare rather small sized potatoes; steam or boil until they can be readily pierced with a fork; dry the surplus water off; have a little butter melted in a dish, roll the potatoes in this; place in a quick oven and brown slightly; serve hot.
Take the cold sweet potatoes, either steamed or boiled, roasted or baked; cut into small pieces, place in a well buttered pan, mince scraps of meat of any kind and stir into it; let brown and serve hot. Chicken makes a most excellent meat to put into it.
Take four medium sized potatoes and the same number of apples. Wash, peel and cut the potatoes in slices about 1/4 of an inch thick; pare and slice the apples in the same way; put in baking dish in alternate layers; sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of sugar over the top, scatter 1/2 cup of butter also over the top; add 3/4 pint of hot water; bake slowly for one hour; serve steaming hot.
Boil until thoroughly done a sweet potato weighing about 3/4 of a pound; mash very fine; pass through colander to free it from lumps; add to it a large tablespoonful of butter and a little salt; whip well, now add 1/2 cupful of milk and two well beaten eggs and flour enough to make a soft batter, which will be about two cupfuls. Before adding the flour sift into it one teaspoon of baking powder. Bake in muffin rings or gem pans.
1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon soda
1 cup sour milk
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt cinnamon
Beat the eggs until light, add the sugar, butter and milk. Mix the salt, soda and spice with the flour. Stir into the egg mixture, beat in thoroughly the mashed sweet potatoes; if too soft add just enough more flour to make it just soft enough to roll out.
Roll, cut out, and fry in deep fat hot enough for the dough to rise at once.
Make exactly the same as for No. 1 except take two cups of flour and two cups of mashed sweet potatoes.
Whip two eggs until quite light; two cups of cold mashed potatoes; one cup of flour into which one teaspoon of baking powder has been sifted. The potatoes and eggs should be worked together, then the flour and baking powder; roll lightly; cut quickly and fry in deep fat like doughnuts. Some think a little spice improves the flavor.
Boil and mash as many sweet potatoes as required; when cold, stir in sufficient flour to form into a paste; roll out and cut into small squares, soak a few bread crumbs in water for 5 or 10 minutes; squeeze dry; add a little chopped parsley, mixed herbs, and a small onion previously soaked in hot water; season with salt and a dash of pepper. Mix all together thoroughly, put a little on each square of paste, and fold over as in sausage rolls; fry in boiling fat until brown; drain and serve.
Take one pint of boiled and mashed potatoes, one pint of toasted bread crumbs rolled fine, one pint of mixed nut meats chopped fine (peanuts are excellent); season with salt, a little pepper, also sage and mace if desired; take the yolks of two eggs; stir in two teaspoons of baking powder; whip until light; pour it into the above mixture and stir well; form into small cakes; dip each into the whites of the eggs, then into shredded coconut and brown in a frying pan containing a little pork fat (not deep fat) turn; brown on both sides.
Pare and boil the potatoes in water slightly salted; when done drain off the water, and run through a ricer; serve hot with plain or drawn butter. The dry, mealy varieties are especially pleasing when prepared in this way.
The sweet potato is quite easy to can, and in several states the industry has assumed quite handsome proportions. They find a ready sale in localities where fresh ones cannot be had.
Peel and cut the potatoes in small cubes or thick slices; pack them just as closely and firmly as possible in the jars; fill with cold water, put the lid on loosely, and boil 60 minutes; tighten the lids at once. Potatoes prepared in this way are exceedingly fine.
Mr. H. B. Benson, head of our Canning Division and who successfully cans every year several thousand cans of potatoes, hands us the following as his method:
“The canning of sweet potatoes is not very difficult, but it requires considerable attention and care, because if not handled properly an unsightly article will appear.
“There are two styles of packing, one being the whole potatoes, packed as dry as possible, the other being pie stock, in which the potatoes appear as a pulp. In packing the whole potato it is very necessary to keep them dry, because the nature of this vegetable is to absorb water, and they should not come from the cans in a water-soaked condition. To avoid this, steam them about three-fourths done, slip the skins off, and pack into cans as tightly as possible without mashing; exhaust 15 or 20 minutes; seal and cook 3-pound cans 45 minutes at 240 degrees Fahrenheit, or 90 minutes at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.”
Curated from How the Farmer Can Save His Sweet Potatoes and Ways of Preparing Them for the Table BULLETIN NO. 38 NOVEMBER 1936
By Geo. W. Carver, M.S. AGR., D.Sc., Director, Experiment Station, Tuskegee Institute