What was your first fine dining “wow” moment? Perhaps it was a duck confit, made from a recipe that hasn’t changed in generations. Or an elaborate 30-component dessert. Or a simple bite of the world’s best ingredients.
In Food Whore, Tia's eyes are opened by a simple amuse bouche: a sweet potato flower with sesame-honey stamens.
Unlike some of the other dishes in Food Whore, which are based on real-life dishes I’ve seen or eaten, this one came entirely from my imagination. I’m no restaurant chef, and if you’re making this as a snack for your friends or family, you probably don’t want to spend restaurant-level time on this. So here’s my at-home version of Tia’s fine dining bite. The inside is soft, while the ends are crisp like chips. If you’re timing this to the book -- this dish appears in Chapter 11!
sweet potatoes (this recipe will make enough seasoning for 4-5 potatoes, but you can make fewer)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons paprika
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the sweet potatoes very thinly, preferably with a mandolin (I used the 1.3mm setting). On a non-stick baking sheet, fan 7 sweet potato slices into a circle.
In a bowl, mix egg, oil, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne. Mix well then dab onto the sweet potatoes with a silicone brush (or even your fingers) until evenly covered. Make sure sure to get where the slices meet, too.
Place in oven and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the slices are slightly golden and very pliable. Remove from the the oven, then raise heat to 400 degrees.
Once cool enough to handle, pick up the circle and detach two of the slices so you have a broken circle. From one end, curl the perimeter of the circle, holding at the base and letting the top fan outwards like petals. Use two toothpicks in an X shape to secure the bottom.
Once you’re done, replace all your flowers on the baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes, or until the ends of the flower “petals” are crisp. Remove and let cool. Before serving, remove toothpicks.