Wednesday, October 27, 2010

BBQ Burger with Sweet Potato Straws

So I'm sitting with my boss and our former intern, Alex, at a sushi restaurant when I found myself transfixed by the pile of crispy, wispy sweet potato straws resting atop their Amazing Roll. I had a vision: What if I put that on top of a burger?

From that moment on, I had a mission and it was to do just that. But what I didn't have was a know-how. Google searches for "sweet potato straws" or "fried sweet potato strands" didn't turn up munch and after trying about every grater or cutting tool in my kitchen, I still had no idea how to achieve that goal. (I just did a more specific search on Google and found that apparently I need a very fancy Mandolin slicer or a very cheap Julienne shredder.)

Finally, Sean said, "This is ridiculous, just make long strips with a vegetable peeler" and then he did just that.

My dream was dead, but it's okay, because at the end of the day, they'll still taste amazing. So I dipped the sweet potatoes in a quick 10-minute ice bath, then dried them with a paper towel before tossing them in vegetable oil, boiling at 350 degrees.

But that's a very edited version of what actually happened. What really happened was that I set the oil to boil while I was struggling with my various graters, absentmindedly forgot and was confused when I heard a persistent beeping coming from the hallway. Oh right! Something was burning.

We were trying to desperately air out the kitchen/dining area/living area when I realized, oh right, I'm burning a hamburger bun in the toaster. Multitasking fail, for reals!

But no sense crying over burning kitchens. I let the sweet potato strips boil for just a minute, until they looked like their chip form.

I then sprinkled them with salt and pepper, and let them dry on a paper towel.

And finally, achieved my dream of crispy sweet potatoes on my burger! We had some barbecue sauces left over from our rehearsal dinner, so I squirted a bit of that over melted cheddar, topped with the sweet potatoes and chowed down. The combo of flavors was SO GOOD, and I honestly think this could be on the menu of all my favorite burger joints.

P.S. I think crispy sweet potatoes could be a great alternate topping for anything you would typically top with fried onions. You could also bake them to avoid the stigma of having deep-fried something.

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