Sysco Chefs Tell Their Favorite Spins on Sweet Potatoes

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Mon. June 11th, 2018 - by Robert Schaulis

UNITED STATES - From soft shades of white to vibrant oranges, purples, reds, and golds, sweet potatoes are as much prized for their lovely looks as their sweet taste. These spuds are more than just an autumn holiday staple; they’re a delicious addition to any spread.

How can retailers and foodservice operators reap rewards from this versatile and vibrant veggie? We asked the experts at Sysco—the culinary commandos bringing fresh menu ideas and food options to foodservice customers across the country—to share some of their favorite usage ideas.

These are just some of their picks…

Sweet Potato and Apple Gratin with Cider Maple Glaze

Jason Knapp, Chef, Corporate Division, Sysco

“During the Holidays, one of my favorite dishes to make and eat is our Sweet Potato and Apple Gratin with Cider Maple Glaze,” says Chef Jason Knapp, Corporate Division. “It has a great balance of flavors from the apple cider and maple to complement the thinly sliced and layered tart apples and sweet potatoes.”

Grilled Sweet Potatoes

Jovan Djokovic, Chef, Eastern Wisconsin Division, Sysco

“Some folks prefer to wait for the weather to turn warmer to dust off our grills and cook for the family. Others, like myself, cook on our grills even when we have to shovel a path through the snow. One favorite around these parts is grilled sweet potatoes,” comments Chef Jovan Djokovic, Eastern Wisconsin Division. “Sliced ¼” thin, lightly dressed in olive oil, sea salt and pepper, and tossed on the grill for 3-4 minutes per side, the smoky charcoal pairs well with the inherent sweetness and gives you a crispy outside and fluffy inside with some actual nutritional value!!!”

Grilled Maple-Bourbon Sweet Potatoes

Josh Korn, Chef, Sacramento Division, Sysco

“I’d have to say my favorite sweet potato recipe is grilled maple-bourbon sweet potatoes. Good for any time of year, but especially during grilling season,” shares Chef Josh Korn, Sacramento Division. “The recipe allows the flavor and texture of the sweet potato to be highlighted without turning it into something radically different. Baked in the oven, then cooled, sliced, and grilled with a pinch of salt and pepper and a brush of bourbon-maple glaze. Simply delicious! This recipe works with sweet potatoes or yams.”

Chargrilled Wild Spicy Shrimp and Chorizo with Cheesy Potato Grits

Anthony O’Shea, Chef, Central Pennsylvania Division, Sysco

“One of my go-to favorite items to entertain with! Can be used as an appetizer, entrée, or hors d’oeuvres,” says Chef Anthony O’Shea, Central Pennsylvania Division, explaining he adds cheddar, bleu cheese, and a sriarcha bourbon drizzle.

Sweet Potato and Pecan Pie

Neil Doherty, Chef, Corporate Division, Sysco

“I fell in love with sweet potato when I came to America, I love the texture and natural sweet flavor without the added sugar,” Chef Neil Doherty Sysco Corporate Division, tells me. “I love to use with baked almond mayonnaise and toasted strudel for a vegan dish or as a thickener for smoothies. My all-time favorite is a sweet potato and pecan pie. Oh yeah!”

For more expert advice on all things fresh food, check in with Sysco on the company’s website. And for more fresh produce news, keep reading AndNowUKnow.