From the story A Vegan Holiday Feast Illustration by Julia Cost
2 cups pecans
1 small yellow onion, diced small
3 tablespoons maple syrup
Salt and pepper
Safflower or vegetable oil
1 sweet potato, thinly sliced on the bias
To make the mousse: Preheat oven to 350°. Place the pecans on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes.
Caramelize the diced onion by heating 1 tablespoon oil to medium-high in a sauté pan. Add the diced onion and lower heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally until the onion has become a rich golden brown.
Place caramelized onions in the jar of a blender along with the toasted pecans and maple syrup. Blend the mixture, adding water as needed to get a smooth consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To make the chips: In a pot, heat as much oil as you need to keep the chips submerged. A cooking thermometer is recommended to keep the oil temperature at 375°. Using metal tongs, place each sweet potato slice in the oil. You can add as many as will fit with room around each. They will float and change color fairly quickly. Fry the sweet potato chips until crispy and golden on both sides. Place on a paper towel to drain excess oil and to retain crispness.
Scrape the mousse into a serving bowl and serve with the sweet potato chips.