Caramelized Sweet Potatoes & Onions with Cider Butter

Once you’ve gotten the hang of the slow-sauté, you can vary this recipe by adding some diced apple halfway through cooking, or by adding a bit of minced fresh ginger or garlic at the end of cooking (fold in and let soften for a minute or two). You can also add toasted chopped nuts at the end. However, the simple cider butter is really all you need for a delicious finish.

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 2 fairly big ones), unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 5 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 small onions (about 8 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch dice, about 1 1/2 cups
1/2 cup apple cider
1/4 teaspoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped parsley (optional)
Cut 2 tablespoons of the butter into 8 pieces and refrigerate it to keep it cold.

In a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sweet potatoes and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. (The pan will look crowded.) Stir well. (A silicone spoonula works great for this.) Reduce the heat to medium, cover loosely, and cook, stirring and flipping occasionally with a flat-edged spatula, for 15 minutes. The sweet potatoes will start browning after about 10 minutes, and you’ll be scraping up some brown stuff off the bottom of the pan—no worries. Listen to the pan; you should hear a gentle sizzle, not a loud one, as the sweet potatoes cook. If the vegetables are browning too quickly, reduce the heat a bit to maintain that gentle sizzle. If you can barely hear the sizzle, turn the heat up a bit.

Uncover, add 1 more tablespoon butter, the onions and 1/4 tsp. salt, and continue to cook, stirring and flipping more frequently as browning goes faster. Adjust the heat down slightly if necessary (and add a little more oil to the pan if it seems dry). Cook until the vegetables are all tender and the onions are lightly browned, about another 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the apple cider to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until it is reduced to about 3 tablespoons—it will be slightly more viscous. Add the cider vinegar and reduce the heat to the very lowest setting so that the liquid is hot but not simmering. Remove the cold butter pieces from the fridge and begin adding them to the hot liquid, a few pieces at a time. After each addition, whisk the butter until it dissolves and becomes creamy. Finish adding the butter and whisking until you have a creamy sauce. Do not turn the heat up or the butter will separate while melting. Keep the sauce warm over the very lowest heat if necessary.

Drizzle the sauce over the sweet potatoes, toss well and serve garnished with the chopped parsley (if using).

Serves 4


- Courtesy of Susie Middleton