Sweet Potato Roses! What a fun and tasty way to up your meal presentation!
I couldn't wait to serve these to my guests but I had to take a few runs at them until I got the recipe right. The first time I made them they were floating in bacon fat and not in a good way. There also wasn't enough flavour to them so I kept tweaking them until I got what I wanted.
I also tried them with regular potatoes. They are also good but I like the appearance of the sweet potato since it really does look like an orange rose. Plus- sweet potato doesn't discolour in the air so you can prep the sweet potato roses ahead of time and just bake when you are ready to serve them. Make ahead!
One sweet potato made 8 potato roses. I served 2 per person. There were slices left over that I put in a small oven proof dish, dotted with butter and baked along side the roses. As you can tell from the fact that 1 potato made 8 roses and had potato left over you are not getting a heaping serving of potato here. They are rather a hint of starch and flavour to complement the other components of the meal. Great for dieters!
Use a mandolin to get the thinnest slices possible so they will be pliable enough to roll up nicely. Thin slices also make for more 'petals' and a nicer rose likeness.
You will toss the slices in a bowl with some olive oil and spices. Then you will want to try to pick out 10-12 slices fairly uniform in size if possible. Because you overlap the slices quite closely they actually are fairly forgiving if you have an odd shaped slice. Just be sure to keep the top edge with nicely scalloped pieces. I even add a few rectangle pieces along the bottom if the bottom edge was very thin to give the rose a bit more substance.
To get around the excess bacon fat (yes- there really is such a thing!), I split each slice of bacon lengthwise. The first time I did it I partially cooked the bacon in a skillet first. You don't want them to be crispy - the slices need to be pliable. The next time I made them I sliced the bacon lengthwise first and then baked them in the oven. They stayed nice and flat during the baking so I think I will keep doing that going forward. As you can see the picture above was from an earlier attempt before I halved and pre-cooked the bacon.
When the bacon is at the right consistency lay it out on your work surface when it is cool enough to handle. Start at the left end of the bacon and lay a potato slice on the bacon. The bacon should be close to the middle of the potato slice. Continue adding potato slices, overlapping each slice by about ¾ of the slice, until you get to the right hand side of the bacon.
Starting with the left end carefully start rolling the bacon strip and the potato slices until you get to the other end. Carefully lift the roll and transfer it to a muffin tin. The size of the muffin tin will depend on the thickness of your potato slices. With really thin slices I used a mini tart shell. With thicker slices I used a muffin tin.
After burning the edges of the first batch I learned to cook them low and slow. They still browned on the edges but they didn't burn the second time. Note in the photo below I had managed to get my sweet potato slices even thinner than in the photo above. The thinner the better!
I served these with Salmon in Puff Pastry and oven roasted asparagus. The salmon was on a bed of Fennel slices with lime juice and wrapped in puff pastry. I made a cream sauce by blending low fat sour cream with some braised fennel and lime juice. The sauce complimented the salmon, the potato roses and the asparagus. A winner of a menu!
Wine Pairing for Sweet Potato Roses
I served it with Momo Sauvignon Blanc 2015 from New Zealand. It is has a bit of grapefruit and stone fruit going on along with the classic herbal notes of Sauvignon Blanc. It was a match made in heaven, if I do say so myself! The 2016 is being released in the LCBO Vintages release of April 28, 2017 so stock up if you are a fan of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs!
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 Tbsps olive oil
- 4 strips bacon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice bacon lengthwise in half. Lay flat in an oven proof pan. Do not crowd them. You want them to lay flat. Bake about 13 minutes. Bacon should have rendered most of its fat but not be crispy. You want it to be pliable. Check after 10 minutes if your oven runs hot.
- While bacon is baking, peel the sweet potato and using a mandolin slice the potato into the thinnest slices possible. Try to keep the potato straight on the blade so you get full round slices.
- Mix the olive oil and spices together. Toss the sweet potato slices with the oil and spices in a bowl. Select 10-12 slices of potato about the same size if you can. Repeat until you have 8 sets of slices.
- Remove bacon from the oven and reduce the heat to 325 degrees. When the bacon is cool enough to handle lay a piece of bacon out from left to right on your work surface.
- Starting at the left side of the bacon lay a round of sweet potato on it so the bacon is about in the middle of the round. Overlap each slice by about ¾ of the slice. Make the top edge a nice even scalloped edge. The lower edge you can trim straight if you like. I had to add a thin strip here and there if the bottom edge seemed too thin.
- Stop adding slices when you get to the right end of the bacon. Starting back at the left side carefully roll up the bacon strip and the potato slices. Transfer carefully to a muffin tin or tart shell. You may need to tamp the top scalloped edge down to make it a uniform height once it is in the shell.
- Bake potato roses for 40-45 minutes at 325 degrees. Transfer to serving plate and serve immediately.