I made these for my sister's sixtieth birthday and have never had as many compliments for my cooking as I did for this dish, except for my chicken enchiladas. I think it may be because Americans are used to sweet potatoes with maple syrup or marshmallows and this dish is definitely different - a savory one due to the addition of miso. In any case, my son liked it enough to request it to accompany his Thanksgiving duck.
If you can find Japanese white sweet potatoes, so much the better; I would not use yams as I find them too sweet. I made this with baby sweet potatoes since I thought that they would look cute on the plate. This is NOT a low calorie dish, especially if, like me, you cook the sweet potatoes in the pan along with the duck (or turkey) and they soak up fat and pan juices like nobody's business.
This recipe served two people but can be doubled, triples, etc. very easily
3 baby sweet potatoes, halved lengthwise or one sweet potato cut into rounds
2 Tbsps butter
1 Tbsp red miso
1/2 tsp julienned sage leaves
Preheat the oven to 400.
Wash the sweet potatoes and dry them well. Use a fork to prick them all over. Bake for about 25 minutes for baby potatoes and about 35 minutes for large rounds, until the middles are soft and the skins are crispy. If cooking in the pan with the bird, the skin will not be crispy but the sweet potato flesh will be practically like a confit.
A few minutes before the potatoes are ready to come out of the oven, melt the butter in a skillet over low heat. Add the miso and sage and whisk together vigorously until the two ingredients emulsify and form a glossy, homogenous sauce.
Remove from the heat and add the cooked sweet potatoes to the pan. Toss gently to combine and to ensure that each potato has a coating of the miso glaze. This can be eaten either piping hot or at room temperature. In both cases, a dusting of shichimi togarashi or a sprinkling of red pepper flakes is a nice addition.