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Recipe: Grilled Sweet Potatoes

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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Grill the potatoes 5–8 minutes, flipping and brushing on sauce occasionally, until the potatoes are lightly charred, glossy, and cooked through.

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