I created this appetizer several years ago for another cooking challenge - Sunday Slow Bites. It was a hit, so I've made it several times since. When I saw sweet potatoes on the list, I knew this would be my offering.
The Flavor Bible lists chili peppers, BUTTER, and cheese. I barely meet our requirements here.
Sweet Potato & Brie Bites
1 – Wedge Brie cheese (6-8 oz)
2 – Organic red sweet potatoes, peeled & sliced into 24, 1/4-3/8 inch rounds (choose long uniform width potatoes that are about 2-3 inches in diameter)
sea salt to taste
3T - BUTTER
2 – 3/8” thick slices pancetta diced
1 – egg, beaten
3/4 - cup Italian bread crumbs (extra fine)
Chili pepper jam (I used a wonderful homemade habanero one of our booksellers at the store makes)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees (convection if you have it)
Slice Brie wedge down the middle like you were splitting a bun
Lay open on a small cutting board and cut into 3/4 inch squares.
Put, as is, into freezer to harden while you cook pancetta & roast potatoes.
Arrange potato rounds on a large cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle with small amount of sea salt and roast just until top begins to brown, flip and roast other side. Remove and let cool enough to handle.
Cook pancetta in a hot skillet until crisp and all of fat is rendered into pan. Remove with slotted spoon, drain on paper towel.
Retain rendered fat in pan and add butter. Heat to just below smoking point.
Dip sweet potato rounds in egg and dredge in bread crumbs. Fry quickly to a light golden brown, turning once. Remove from oil, drain, and pat out excess oil with paper towel.
Remove brie from freezer, and select 12 square pieces from center. Cut off rind on bottom and then cut each piece in half.
Arrange sweet potato rounds on a parchment lined baking sheet. Top each round with piece of cheese and place in oven to just begin melting cheese.
To serve, garnish top of brie with a small dab of habanero jam and a few pieces of pancetta.
You can serve these arranged on a platter for passing, or you can serve two or three on individual tidbit trays. They are addictive.