North Carolina is the nation’s major producer of sweet potatoes, and while the spuds are cooked every way imaginable in the state, never are they more delectable than when cut into cubes, parboiled, fried in butter and brown sugar till beautifully glazed, and dredged in ground pecans. Serve with pulled pork, fried pork chops, barbecued ribs, or even as an unusual dessert.
- 1 1/2 pounds (about 3) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1⁄4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1⁄2 cup finely ground pecans
- Place the potatoes in a large saucepan with enough water to cover and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover, simmer the potatoes till just tender, about 10 minutes, and drain on paper towels.
- In a large, heavy skillet, melt the butter over moderate heat, add the sugar, and stir till the sugar melts.
- Add the potatoes, stir well, fry till nicely glazed, 4 to 5 minutes, turning, and drain on paper towels.
- Dredge the potatoes in the pecans and serve warm.
James Villas was the food and wine editor for Town & Country magazine for twenty-seven years. His work has appeared in Food & Wine, Saveur, Gourmet, The New York Times and Esquire.
He's cooked with everyone from Julia Child, to James Beard to Craig Claiborne to Paul Prudhomme and has written seventeen cookbooks and books about food. "Pig: King of The Southern Table" earned him a James Beard Award, the equivalent of an "Oscar" in the food world.