Hashed Sweet Potato Cakes
Just over 1 pound sweet potatoes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1Peel, then grate the potatoes on the widest face of your grater or in a processor.
2 Melt half of the butter over medium heat in an 8- to 9-inch non-stick skillet. Add about one quarter of the grated potatoes to cover the bottom of the pan in a 1/2-inch deep tangle. You should barely be able to see through it to the bottom of the pan. They should sizzle on contact. Season evenly with salt.
3 Swirl the pan to urge the potatoes into a mass without compacting them. Cook 5 minutes or so, then check gingerly at the edge of the tangle to see if the bottom has set to a golden crust. Once it has, swirl the pan again to make sure the cake is not sticking, then flip the mass of potatoes like a pancake, or lift and turn it over with a spatula in halves if necessary.
4 Don't be tempted to "neaten-up" or compress the potatoes; their charm lies in the irregular, lacy, crispy texture—overhandling makes them steam and will produce a dense, uninteresting patty. Add the rest of the butter to the edge of the pan, tilt in all directions to ensure it coats the whole surface, then leave it to brown the other side. This should take about 4 minutes.
5 Serve immediately, or hold on parchment paper on a sheet pan in a warm oven while you make more cakes. Don't overlap the finished cakes.