September 29 2022 8:53 AM E-paper Subscribe Sign in My Account Sign out

Refresh your sweet potatoes with fried eggs

Smoky sweet potatoes with fried eggs and almonds. Melissa Clark adds eggs, almonds and warming spices to a 2011 dish for a lifting, smoky meatless meal. (Photo: NYTimes)
The only complaint my husband, Daniel, has about my cooking is that every time I make something he loves, I never cook it again.

It’s not that I mean to never cook it again; it’s that I can’t help but wonder, what would happen if I stirred in a pinch of this or a drizzle of that? Would it make the dish brighter, fuller, tastier? To me, this tweaking is part of the fun, one of the main reasons I love to cook.اضافة اعلان

And so it went recently when I set out to make some coconut oil roasted sweet potatoes, a recipe I developed in 2011 and still regularly riff on.

Over the past decade, I’ve switched up the spices, added other vegetables, layered on sauces, proteins, and herbs. As long as I didn’t mess with the bones of the recipe — the coconut oil, the sweet potatoes, the roasting temperature — I really couldn’t go wrong. The sweet potatoes would always end up richly flavored and delicately crisp on the outside, velvety within.

That is, as long as I didn’t take the sweet potatoes out of the oven early.

As Steven D., a reader, wrote in the notes of the original recipe online at New York Times Cooking, “The potatoes are soft after a half-hour or so, but then the crusts harden in the second half-hour, giving them the delicious texture that makes the dish unique.”

The last time I made this dish, I wanted to serve it as a main course rather than as a side. So I took the well-trodden path of putting an egg on top — in this case, fried in coconut oil until the edges ruffled and crisped, turning brittle and brown.

Of course, thinking about fried eggs made me crave a side of bacon. But since I wanted to go meatless, I approximated bacon’s brawniness with a dash of smoked paprika. It added complexity to the potatoes and gave a jolt of color to the eggs right at the end, the deep red powder streaking orange in the yolks.

I also added chopped salted almonds for crunch and a creamy, garlicky yogurt sauce to bring together the elements. It made for a wonderfully cozy, satisfying meal that I’ll probably never make again.

But you can make it as often as you like, tweaked to your heart’s content.

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