I started what I call Mother Hen Project at work where I cook Monday lunch for up to five people for $5 a pop. I call them omakase bento so that I don’t have to promise a menu ahead of time. They’re stored in these neat lunch boxes I picked up from a Chinatown stationary store. I have plans to have a life, so I decided to do it only once a week. The demand’s pretty good right now and I only have a few slots until the end of May to fill up. I hope they all like what they get.
This sweet potato with maple syrup glaze recipe is matched with dilled vegetables with lentils, a seared Swai fillet and broccoli with cumin and mustard seeds. It’s a tad sweet to clear the palate off the Indian spices.
3 sweet potatoes, rinsed, ends trimmed, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch rounds
1/4 cup maple syrup
a small knob of butter
a pinch of thyme leaves
salt, pepper, oil
1. Toss potatoes with oil in large bowl; season liberally with salt and pepper. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush foil with some more oil. Arrange potatoes in single layer on baking sheet and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, place potatoes in oven, and heat oven to 300º. Cook potatoes for 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and continue to roast potatoes until they begin to soften slightly, 25 minutes longer.
2. In the meantime, make maple syrup glaze. Heat maple syrup, butter and thyme in small saucepan over medium-low heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Remove sheet from oven and increase oven temperature to 400º. Once oven reaches 400º, return potatoes to oven and cook until bottom edges of potatoes are golden brown, 12 minutes. Remove pan from oven and brush tops of potatoes with half of glaze. If glaze becomes too stiff to brush onto potatoes, reheat it briefly.
4. Return sheet to oven and cook until bottoms of potatoes are golden brown and glaze begins to darken, 8 minutes. Remove sheet from oven and, using thin metal spatula, flip slices over. Brush second side of potatoes with remaining glaze. Continue to roast until bottom edges of potatoes are golden brown, another 8 minutes. Let potatoes cool for 5 to 10 minutes, transfer to platter, and serve.
Part of my Mother Hen project: omakase bento #1