The Chef: Philip Krajeck
His Restaurants: Rolf and Daughters and Folk, in Nashville, Tenn.
What He’s Known For: Thoughtful cooking served up in a gracious, accessible style. Old World breads and pizzas made with the best regional ingredients.
EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE an ingredient comes along that really knocks chefs off their feet. In recent years, ‘nduja, the spreadable Italian sausage, has shown up on more and more menus across the country, lending gorgeous fatty richness and a spicy kick to everything from charcuterie boards to pasta sauces. At Rolf and Daughters in Nashville, Philip Krajeck has found a particularly appealing application for the stuff. He mixes ’nduja with butter and slathers it on a whole roasted sweet potato. The salty-sweet-spicy combination is sensational.
In his third Slow Food Fast recipe, Mr. Krajeck cuts the cooking time by slicing sweet potatoes into wedges before roasting. Once the wedges have caramelized and crisped at the edges, he tosses them with ’nduja butter, which instantly melts into the hot potatoes, tinting them a beautiful glossy amber and imparting lip-smacking notes of paprika and pork. He serves the spicy sweet potatoes over a smear of tart yogurt and finishes with fresh cilantro, mint and Thai basil, plus a generous squeeze of lime juice. “Southern sweet potatoes and funky, fatty, spicy spreadable salami pair well with Thai herbs and the cooling lactic acid of Greek yogurt,” Mr. Krajeck said.
Some supermarkets carry ’nduja, but if your local one doesn’t, try a gourmet store or order it online. And consider purchasing more than you need for this recipe: You’ll want to add it to everything. Mr. Krajeck is positively smitten with it in this dish. “We’ve been using this flavor combination for years,” he said. “And we’re still super excited about how it eats.”
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes SERVES: 4
4 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces ‘nduja, at room temperature
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 lime, zest finely grated
½ cup Greek yogurt
¼ cup fresh cilantro
¼ cup mint leaves
¼ cup Thai basil leaves
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread wedges across a sheet pan and roast on lower third rack until browned in spots and tender, about 25 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, use a food processor or mixer to beat together ’nduja and butter.
3. In a large bowl, toss hot sweet potatoes with ’nduja butter and season with salt and lime juice to taste.
4. Spread yogurt across a serving platter or individual plates. Sprinkle with lime zest and salt, and drizzle with olive oil. Top with sweet potatoes and ’nduja butter drippings. Scatter cilantro, mint and basil leaves overtop.
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