Mexican Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

February 24, 2020

Recipe by Local Roots recipe contributor, Chef Casey Corn @casey_corn

The twice-baked potato is a dish full of nostalgia for me. It was the one prepared food my mom would buy for dinner for us as kids, and since she didn't make it herself, it seemed to me like a complicated, luxury dish. Like many of my favorite dishes from childhood, it's actually much simpler to make than I thought, so I've upgraded this classic with Mexican flavors and a sweet potato twist.

Ingredients:

1 lb sweet potatoes

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbs + 1 tsp kosher salt

2 Tbs unsalted butter

⅓ c heavy whipping cream

½ c queso fresco, grated

⅓ c cotija, grated

2 ea ears of corn

1 ea poblano pepper

½ c cilantro, picked

1 ea lime, cut into wedges

 

For the Mexican Seasoning:

 

2 Tbs cumin

2 Tbs paprika

1 tsp ground oregano

2 Tbs garlic powder

1 tsp cayenne

2 Tbs chili powder

1 tsp white pepper

 

For the Pickled Onions:

1 ea red onion

½ c apple cider vinegar

1 Tbs granulated sugar

1½ tsp kosher salt

1 ea bay leaf

5 ea whole black peppercorns

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Wash and dry sweet potatoes, then prick them with a fork all over. Rub with the olive oil, then sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons of salt, making sure potatoes are pretty heavily salted. Place in the oven directly on a middle rack, and bake until easily pierced with a fork, approximately 1 hour. Remove from oven onto a plate, and rest until cool enough to handle.

2. While potatoes are baking, pickle your onions. Slice thinly, and place in a jar or bowl with the peppercorns and bay leaf. Toss with the salt and sugar, and let sit for about 20 minutes, then cover with vinegar, and let sit another 30-40 minutes.

3. Mix spice blend, and set aside 1 tablespoon for use in this recipe. Spice blend can be stored in an airtight jar in a cupboard.

4. Char corn and poblano over your stovetop burner. Place poblano in a bowl and cover with clingfilm. When cool, skin should peel right off. Dice peeled poblano and cut kernels off of the corn cob.

5. In a small saucepan, combine butter, cream, 1 tablespoon of the Mexican spice blend, salt, and infuse over low heat without simmering, stirring to avoid a film forming on top. Infuse over low heat until butter is melted and flavors meld, about 7-10 minutes.

 

6. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut in half lengthwise, and scoop the insides out into a large bowl, leaving a border of ¼ inch of potato inside the skin. Mash lightly with a whisk, then whisk in the cream mixture, until mash is smooth. Stir in the grated queso fresco.

7. Place potato skins on a foil-lined baking sheet. Divide sweet potato mash evenly between them. Place back in the oven for about 7-10 minutes, until warmed all the way through.

8. To serve, place half a sweet potato on a plate, spoon charred corn and diced poblano over, sprinkle with cotija cheese, add a few pickled onions, cilantro leaves, and finish with a lime wedge.





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