Food Wine and Spirits Urban Aristocrats


I place orange-fleshed sweet potatoes in a pot of cold water — unpeeled with cinnamon sticks. When you leave the skin on the sweet potatoes, it maintains its bright, orange color. I bring the cold water to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer. While on simmer, I make a sweet maple ginger sauce: maple syrup, water, brown sugar, butter, salt, and fresh peeled ginger. I mix the ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat. Once it reaches a smooth consistency, I remove from the heat to cool. The sweet potatoes have been cooling and they’re ready to be peeled and cut into even cubes. I mix the sweet potatoes in a maple ginger sauce covering each cube completely. Bake in a 350 degrees oven for 15 minutes. Sparingly sprinkle brown sugar over the yams, and place under the broiler for 1 to2 minutes. That will give the sweet potatoes a candied crunch like topping. Finally, the sweet potatoes are ready to be served.

This recipe is a new take on the traditional candied yams. I make it during the holidays and it disappears as fast as it’s made. It goes well with my southern fried chicken and 5 cheese macaroni. For more information on recipe ideas or Paper Plates Catering, email Chef Al Papers at

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