Chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Marcus Samuelsson's latest book, "The Rise," honors the traditions of Black cooks whose work has historically helped shape the American table, as well as leading figures in Black cuisine today.
As featured in "The Rise," Samuelsson's recipe for Baked Sweet Potatoes with Garlic-Fermented Shrimp Butter is in honor of David Zilber, former head of the Noma Fermentation Lab in Copenhagen.
This recipe is a nod to a brother who understands the B-side of cooking – David is a fermenting expert in one of the world's best restaurants in Denmark. When I think about fermentation, I think about funk: sweet, sour, bitter and salty, musty and funky. Fermentation is a process that is very structured, but it's also deep and groovy. David is like a funk band leader and he's focused his life on this craft. He deserves to be called "the future of fermentation."
The fermented notes in this dish tie together the sweetness of the potato and the plump savory profile of the shrimp. Take a bite and remember that great Prince song, "Black Sweat." I do.
Baked Sweet Potatoes with Garlic-Fermented Shrimp Butter
ACTIVE TIME: 15 minutes
START TO FINISH: 1 hour
4 medium sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon fermented shrimp paste
1 soft, ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Rub the potatoes with the vegetable oil and salt, and wrap each individually in aluminum foil. Bake until tender, 45 to 60 minutes. Let cool.
Meanwhile, place the butter, garlic, and shrimp paste into a small saucepan set over low heat and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring continually, for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the garlic has softened slightly. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Once the potatoes are cooked and the butter is cooled, place the butter mixture, avocado, lemon juice, sweet soy sauce, and thyme leaves in the bowl of a small food processor and process until smooth.
Serve the sweet potatoes with the butter.
From "The Rise" by Marcus Samuelsson with Osayi Endolyn. Recipes with Yewande Komolafe and Tamie Cook. Copyright © 2020 by Marcus Samuelsson. Photographs by Angie Mosier. Used with permission of Voracious, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company. New York, NY. All rights reserved.
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- "The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food – A Cookbook" by Marcus Samuelsson with Osayi Endolyn and Yewande Komolafe (Voracious), in Hardcover and eBook formats, available via Amazon and Indiebound