AKA: What to do with leftover sweet potatoes or yams.
I had some garnet yams left over last week, so I decided to make them into cakes. These were so successful that I will go out of my way to prepare them again!
One large, baked yam or sweet potato cut into cubes – about 2 cups
One fennel bulb, cored and chopped into medium pieces
4 scallions – white parts and some greens, chopped
2 Eggs beaten
Panko bread crumbs – about a cup
Seasons of choice – I used a quarter teaspoon each of cumin, smoked paprika, salt and freshly ground pepper
Pour a bit of olive oil in a sauté pan and cook the scallions and fennel over medium heat for about five or six minutes, stirring.
In a bowl, put the chopped yam/sweet potato, the cooked scallions and fennel, and the beaten egg. Mix well but don’t mash the potatoes.
Put some oil in a clean fry pan and warm it for cooking the cakes.
Here’s the secret to making these cakes crunchy: This mix will be soft so gather up about a half cup in one hand and pat it into a cake shape as best you can. Sprinkle with the Panko crumbs on the side that’s facing up while in your hand and then plop that, bread-crumb side down in the pan. (Be careful not to have too much oil or it might splash up and burn you.) Once the cake is in the pan, sprinkle the side that’s facing up with more bread crumbs.
Repeat this for all the cakes.
Cook on medium heat for about ten minutes or until the cakes start to get firm enough so you can get a spatula under them without them falling apart or changing shape. Be patient and let the egg firm up before you start to flip them. You can turn the heat down if necessary so they don’t get too brown. Flip them over and cook for another five to ten minutes. Serve immediately or save and heat in the oven before serving.
We found that the panko crumbs made these a great combination of crunchy on the outside and smooth in the center. You can serve them as is or with a sauce of some sort. (We tried hot sauce, fish taco sauce and barbecue sauce and all of them were great. They were also good plain.)
These would also be great with grated fresh ginger added to the scallion and fennel mixture.