Recipe: sweet potato soldiers

by | Feb 28, 2020

February is almost over, which means that National Sweet Potato Month is coming to an end. It’s only right that we end off the month with one more sweet potato dish, and one that might just help satisfy your sweet tooth, too!

As we discussed in another recent blog post, small fingerling sweet potatoes make for great side dishes all the way from your kitchen table to high-class restaurants. Featuring orange juice, brown sugar and dark rum, this recipe helps put the “sweet” in sweet potato and is sure to be a hit for any occasion.

North Carolina is the nation’s top sweet potato producer, and you can find plenty of fresh specimens at any of the four N.C. Farmers Markets; N.C. State Farmers Market, WNC Farmers Market, Charlotte Regional Farmers Market or the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market.

So stand at attention, soldier — it’s time to get cooking!


  • 2 pounds small fingerling sweet potatoes (about six [7- x 1 1/2-inch] potatoes), unpeeled
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum or bourbon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Pierce potatoes several times with a fork. Arrange in a single layer in a jelly-roll pan, and bake 25 to 35 minutes or until just tender. Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely (about 30 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, bring orange juice and next five ingredients to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Simmer, stirring often, five minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat.
  3. Peel sweet potatoes, and cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces, discarding ends.
  4. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet; cook over medium heat one minute or until butter begins to brown. Carefully add sweet potatoes, cut sides down, and cook five minutes. (Do not stir; move the skillet across the cooking eye to promote even browning.)
  5. Pour orange juice mixture over potatoes, and cook 10 minutes or until glaze is slightly thickened. Transfer potatoes, seared sides up, to a serving platter; pour glaze over potatoes, and sprinkle with salt.