Sweet Potato Pancakes with Apple-Mustard Relish
I’m a firm believer that almost any vegetable can be shredded, shaped and pan-fried into a most delicious “cake” or “pancake”. In fact, I rank it up there with my top favorite ways to cook almost any vegetable. While this recipe highlights the ever-popular fall ingredient sweet potatoes, I have been known and should be expected to repeat this method as the seasons change with other veggies. I mean, really. What’s not to like about crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside, golden, hearty, nutritional goodies? Oh, and how about the fact that they practically demand some sort of topping and/or dipping sauce? Yep, pretty much anything I can dip into a sauce or drizzle with a sauce gets high marks in my book. Look how craveable these beaut’s look!
Dare I add that this type of preparation is also most-kid friendly. So if you have trouble getting your children to dig into a roasted sweet potato, try this recipe and see if they are a little more agreeable. Again, that whole pan-fried crispy thing tends to win people over!
As long as you have a box grater, this dish is pretty quick and easy. Another reason I love it. You can grate the potatoes in a food processor, however…in this rare case, I opt for the box-grater. The food processor sometimes makes too long of shreds, and I prefer the shorter shred.
A great time saving tip – leave the skin on. Since the skin usually packs the most nutrients no reason to remove it here.
So once that’s done, the hard part is over. Sorry if your arm is a bit tired, but trust me it will be worth it! In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, the mustard, the salt, pepper and chopped parsley. Then mix in the flour until everything is well combined.
PSA: If you are making this for a party, or trying to get a jump start on dinner, make the mix ahead of time and then pan fry just before you want to serve them. You can keep finished cakes warm in a 200 degree oven.
For the pan-frying part, pour about 1/4 inch worth of vegetable or canola oil into a large sauté pan and warm over medium to medium-high heat. The trick here will be to get your oil hot enough to brown and crisp the cakes, but adjusting it as necessary to keep the oil temperature just right. Too hot and your cakes will get too dark before they cook through and too cold and you will get oil-sogged veggie patties – a.k.a. sadness.
To test the oil, carefully drop a shred of sweet potato into the pan. If the oil bubbles and sizzles rapidly around the veggie, you are ready to go. Use a scoop, like an ice cream scoop or tablespoon measure, to portion the sweet potato mix into the pan. Press the round scoop down so it’s flat and round, but not too thin. Keep the cake thicker than the oil is deep. If you want small cakes, use a smaller scoop to portion and for larger cakes, use a scant 1/4 measuring cup.
Cook the cakes until golden brown and crispy on one side, then carefully flip and finish on the second side. This should take about 6-8 minutes in total. Once done, use a slotted spatula to transfer to a plate lined with paper towel or a clean kitchen towel. Season with salt immediately while still hot. Repeat this process until all your sweet potato “batter” is cooked.
Now for the topping, begin by combining the rice wine vinegar, water, brown sugar and salt in a separate sauté pan. Warm over medium-low heat until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the mustard seeds, along with the apricot preserves and Dijon mustard. Stir until everything is melted and combined. Toss in the apples toss to coat, then let them simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and set aside until ready to serve. If you prefer, make this in advance so you don’t have to cook two things at once.
It’s easy to let everyone add their own topping, but if you want to make a statement with presentation scoop a tiny dollop of sour cream on top of each cake followed by a heaping helping of the apple relish. These are so festive, I can’t imagine anyone NOT wanting to dive right in.
Sweet Potato Pancakes with Apple-Mustard Relish
One of my favorite ways to cook vegetables, this easy, crowd-pleasing recipe shreds sweet potatoes, pan-fries them into crispy little cakes and tops them with a flavorful, bright apple-mustard relish. Yes, it’s as good as it sounds!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4
- Category: Side Dish
- 20 oz sweet potatoes, grated
- 1 egg, large
- 2 teaspoons Dijon or country grain mustard
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1-1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil
- Sour cream, optional
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 4 tablespoons apricot preserves
- 2 apples, peeled and diced (I like to use one green and one red apple)
- 2-3 tablespoons flour
- Crack the egg into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in mustard, paprika, salt, pepper and parsley. Grate the sweet potatoes (you can leave the skin on), then add to the egg mixture. Sprinkle in two tablespoons of flour, then mix to combine. If the mixture seems too wet, add another tablespoon of flour.
- Pour enough vegetable or canola oil into a saute pan so it is about 1/4″ deep. Warm over medium to medium-high heat. To test the oil, carefully drop a shred of sweet potato into the pan. If the oil bubbles and sizzles rapidly around the veggie, you are ready to go. Scoop portions of the sweet potato mix into the pan. I like to use a small ice cream scoop to make the shapes consistent, but you can make your cakes bigger or smaller to suit your preference. Press the potato portions down so they are flat and round, but not too thin. Keep the cake thicker than the oil is deep.
- Let the cakes cook until golden brown and crispy on one side, then carefully flip and finish on the second side. Should take about 6-8 minutes in total. Once done, use a slotted spatula to transfer to a plate lined with paper towel or a clean kitchen towel. Season with salt immediately while still hot. Repeat this process until all your sweet potato “batter” is cooked.
- In a separate saute pan, combine the rice wine vinegar, water, brown sugar and salt. Warm over medium-low heat until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the mustard seeds, along with the apricot preserves and mustard. Stir until everything is melted and combined. Toss in the apples toss to coat, then let them simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and set aside until ready to serve.
- To finish, top each with a small dollop of sour cream and a scoop of apple-mustard relish. Serve warm and enjoy!
- If you want to get a jump start, make the apple-mustard relish ahead of time. You can either serve it cold with the hot cakes, just like the cold sour cream, or you can warm gently in a saucepan before serving.
- You can also make the potato mixture in advance, but then fry as close to order as possible. To keep cakes warm while you finish cooking additional batches, hold in a 200 degree oven.