Since my boys have become teenagers, weekend family dinners are impossible to predict. Sometimes none of the kids will join us and sometimes they’ll all show up with hungry friends in tow. My husband and I often go out on Saturday nights, but Friday night, after a hectic work week, we usually welcome a relaxing evening at home. Out of these circumstances of unpredictable kids and burned-out parents, a really fun tradition has emerged for Friday nights at our house. I call it “Platter Night”. Rather than planning a meal, I put out a platter of delicious nibbles in the family room. We pour ourselves a glass of wine or a cocktail, listen to music, sit on the couch, and graze. If the kids show up, they join us. We can easily include our friends or theirs. There is no table to set and the evening feels like a long luxurious cocktail party – a perfect way to cap off the week and start enjoying the weekend.
I don’t like to fuss too much for platter night – usually I’ll serve sautéed cut-up sausages with toothpicks and honey mustard to dip. There’ll be a crudite of whatever raw veggies I have in the fridge, with Annie’s Goddess Dressing (my favorite store-bought dressing); one hunk of delicious cheese with crackers or a thinly-sliced baguette.
But I always cook one special thing for platter night, and it is often a vegetable dish that is healthy and irresistible. When I make these hot, spicy sweet potato wedges with chipotle aioli, they are the stars of platter night. They are amazing!
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 finely minced garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice (about ½ a juicy lime)
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Sweet Potatoes
- 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges, 8-10 per potato
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1½ tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon chili powder (Chipotle or other)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 425º.
- Make Aioli Whisk mayonaise, garlic, lime juice, and chipotle chili powder in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Potatoes Toss potato wedges with olive oil in a large bowl. Add seasonings and toss again, to coat.
- Spread potatoes out in a single layer on a non-stick or lightly oiled baking sheet, and roast for 25-30 minutes, flipping them over half way through, until they are ligtly browned and cooked through.
- Mound wedges on a platter with a small bowl of aioli and enjoy!