I can’t count the number of times I wanted to have a sweet potato for lunch (or dinner), thought about the time it’d take to roast one, and decided against the idea completely. Because enjoying my favorite stuffed sweet potato isn't like enjoying a sandwich. It’s not one of those things I can randomly throw together, without planning—these babies take time. And although I often have sweet potatoes on hand, they used to live solely in my “make-ahead food” category.
Those days are over, though. My colleague, Kendra Vaculin, recently filled me on her favorite trick: she cooks sweet potatoes in the microwave. And it takes just 10 minutes.
At Epi, we’re no strangers to par-cooking tubers in the microwave before giving them a spin in the oven, but I never considered using a microwave to fully cook them, until Kendra told me that it's her go-to sweet potato move, especially when she's looking for a quick, cheap, and easy lunch.
Now, don't get us wrong, cooking a sweet potato in the microwave won’t give you exactly the same results as roasting it in the oven. “The skin doesn't get roasty-toasted or blistered or anything, it just gets a little softer,” Kendra says. “But on the inside it’s pretty similar: tender and scoopable.”
If you'd like to mash or purée the insides, the skin peels off really easily. But Kendra also likes to simply split the potato lengthwise, rake its flesh with a fork, and drizzle it with oil or butter. Think of it more like a steamed sweet potato than a roasted one, and enjoy its luscious and creamy interior.
Prep the potato the same way you would for roasting: Scrub it and use a fork to prick several holes through the skin. (Seriously, don't skip this step, unless you're cool with a sweet potato explosion your microwave.)
Then, wrap your sweet potato in a damp paper towel and place it on a microwaveable plate. Cook it on the high setting. Depending on the size of the potato and the strength of your microwave, it takes between eight and 12 minutes to become tender. You’ll know it’s finished when you can easily insert a fork or knife into it with no effort.
So, um, brb—just decided I’m making sweet potatoes for lunch...
Originally Appeared on Epicurious