Rook chef Carlos Salazar, a native of the Philippines, applies his playful takes on traditional Asian recipes at the Fletcher Place restaurant that elevates dishes like wild-mushroom bibimbap and brisket ramen to high cuisine. Here, he gives a classic fall starch a fun, street-food makeover—served, of course, on skewers.
- 2 pounds local sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 slices of smoked jowl
- 4 ounces low-sodium soy sauce4 ounces maple syrup*
- 2 ounces balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
- 1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced
*Local Source: Burton’s Maplewood Farm in Medora sells every variety of pure maple syrups, from a Grade-A medium amber to a line of waffle-toppers aged in bourbon, rum, whiskey, and brandy barrels.
- Put potatoes into a pot with enough water to cover them.Bring to boil and lower to simmer 4–5 minutes, until the potatoes are just a little firm.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the jowl on a foil-lined baking sheet in one layer and bake 10–12 minutes, until brown and crispy. Transfer to paper towels to drain, reserving the fat for another purpose.
- Combine the soy sauce, maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar in a saucepot, bring to a boil over high heat, and cook 3–4 minutes, until the mixture thickens slightly.
- Combine in a blender with the butter (or, over low heat, whisk in a piece of butter at a time), blend until smooth, and reserve.
- Preheat and oil the grill to cook over medium-high heat. Skewer the potatoes, leaving a little space between each one. Brush some of the soy-sauce glaze all over the potatoes.
- Grill the potatoes 5–8 minutes, flipping and brushing on sauce occasionally, until the potatoes are lightly charred, glossy, and cooked through.