Rarely does one encounter an actual sweet potato emergency – but this is the time of year it’s most likely to happen.
Perhaps you’re late making dinner, and you need something to go with the rotisserie chicken you picked up on the way home. Or let’s say a vegetarian friend drops by while everyone else is eating burgers. Or maybe you just want to feast on something seasonal without waiting for it to bake.
Resist the inclination to cook those sweet potatoes in your microwave. Doing so will make them edible – but just barely. Most often a microwave will produce an overcooked, shriveled skin that encases a soggy, steamed potato containing random lumps of uncooked, fibrous flesh.
Instead, plan ahead just a bit. Buy a bunch of sweet potatoes and use this two-step method:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Wash but do not peel the potatoes. Poke holes with a fork in several places on each potato. Place them on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake until tender, usually 40 – 50 minutes depending in size.
Remove from oven and allow to cool. Then, wrap each potato individually in foil and store in the freezer.
THEN, when you want to serve a potato:
Remove from the freezer and unwrap. Do not defrost; place it on a microwave-safe plate and heat on high for 4 – 5 minutes. Slit the skin, add butter and brown sugar, or your other favorite toppings, and serve.
The reheated potato will keep the taste and texture of slow, oven-baking.
Now, if only we could figure out a way to accomplish the same thing with an 18-pound turkey…