One of my favorite things to do is form something into a patty, season it with tons of different flavors, crisp it up, and eat it with an egg. I do this with chickpeas, black beans, and in today’s post…sweet potatoes. I used to hate sweet potatoes because I had only ever had them at Thanksgiving, when they are loaded with brown sugar. In my (unpopular) opinion, sweet potatoes are perfectly sweet alone and they need savory ingredients to contrast all that sweetness. That’s where the salty, herby butter topping these bad boys comes into play.
Compound butters are a great and easy way to add unique flavor to a number of different dishes. In this case, I simply added fresh sage and some pequin chile salt I had on hand (shout-out to Elaine for getting Eric and me a 6 month RawSpiceBar subscription), and voila! Instant flavor burst. The best part is when the butter starts to melt on the hot, crispy surface of the freshly griddled potato cake. It starts to sink into all the nooks and crannies of the cake and you get that lovely aroma of fresh sage. The pequin chile flakes add a smoky, spicy kick which goes really nicely with the sweet potatoes.
Look at that gorgeous butter melt its way into that cake! I’m crying a little on the inside because I’m having my wisdom teeth taken out today and looking at these pictures is making me long for crispy, crunchy textures I cannot have for a few days. Being as obsessed with food as I am and being severely limited in what consistencies you are able to eat is pure torture. I have a whole new appreciation for working with clients who have swallowing disorders and are unable to eat regular diets. I have considered one day merging my love of food blogging with my knowledge of speech-language pathology to release a series of recipes specifically designed for individuals with dysphasia. Stay tuned, speechie friends!
I have made different variations on sweet potato cakes before, and recipes almost always want you to boil or microwave the sweet potatoes. It gets the job done as far as cooking the potatoes, but personally I find that roasting them in the oven gives them a nice color and extra layer of flavor. Also, it is an absolute MUST that you eat these cakes with a crispy fried egg. If you need tips on how to get it super crispy, refer back to this post. The combination of that runny yolk with the compound butter and the crispy sweet potato cake simply cannot be beat.
Sweet Potato & Corn Cakes with Sage & Pequin Chile Butter
For the sage & pequin chile butter–
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon pequin chile salt (If you can’t find this, you could simply do 1/2 tsp salt and a dash of pequin chile powder, or red pepper flakes).
For the sweet potato cakes–
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup frozen corn
2.5 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Sunflower oil, for frying
Crispy fried eggs, for serving
- To make the compound butter: Combine the butter, sage, and pequin chile salt in a small bowl. Empty the mixture onto a large sheet of parchment paper and roll the butter into a log shape (it should look kind of like a candy wrapper). Allow the butter to harden in the refrigerator, about 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the diced sweet potatoes on a large sheet pan and drizzle with 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until tender.
- Meanwhile, in a medium pan over medium heat, saute the onion and garlic in the remaining 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Add in the frozen corn, season with salt and pepper, and stir until warmed through. Set aside.
- When the potatoes have cooled slightly, mash them in a large bowl with the heavy cream until mostly smooth. Add in the corn mixture, cumin, smoked paprika, egg, and bread crumbs. Mix until nicely combined.
- To fry the cakes, heat a medium pan over medium-high heat with sunflower oil (around 2 Tablespoons). Form small patties from the sweet potato mixture and fry in the hot oil, about 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown.
- Serve each cake with a fat slice of the sage & chile butter and a crispy fried egg.