Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Thanksgiving is coming up, and you'll notice plenty of recipes popping up featuring poultry, stuffing, and cranberries. But my new favorite holiday side dish is a big spoonful of these baked sweet potatoes.

Culinary classes from online education colleges are available for those of you who also love baking yummy things like these sweet potatoes.

First, you'll need three big sweet potatoes. You won't need to do anything to them--just stick 'em on a baking sheet and roast them at 425F for about an hour, or until they're completely cooked.

If your oven is already filled with something, you could microwave them or peel and boil them, too. Roasting really helps bring out their sweetness, though.

Once the potatoes are cooked, let them cool a bit and then peel them. The skin should come right off.

Add some half-and-half. The liquid will help you once you're ready to mash them, and it will also give your side dish some richness.

Next is some melted (or mostly melted) butter. Because Thanksgiving sucks without butter.

Maple syrup will sweeten the side dish. Not too much, since the potatoes are already plenty sweet--just enough to add a bit of mapley goodness.

A couple of eggs will add some substance to your side dish.

Don't forget the salt! The salt will bring out all the flavors you've already added.

Vanilla will add a depth of flavor and enhance the sweetness of the potatoes.

And, just to kick things up a little, some cayenne pepper is the last ingredient to go in.

Now grab your handy-dandy potato masher (or electric beaters) and mash those potatoes to the chunky- or smoothness that you like.

Spread your potato mixture in a large, shallow baking dish and set it aside.

The thing that really makes this dish a killer is the topping. Sure, you've got the slightly-sweet orange concoction underneath, but on top is a crunchy, sweet topping that does nothing but enhance the sweet potatoes it tops.

Using a food processor (or a pastry cutter) makes the topping a cinch. Grab some cold butter.

Measure out some brown sugar.

Then cut the two together until they become like one ingredient.

If I had been doing it by hand, I don't think I would have made the bits of butter so small, to leave the topping more streusal-like. But since I used my food processor, I didn't have a choice. If you like a more rough, crumbly topping, I'd suggest doing this step by hand.

Now that the hard work is done, you can add some nuts. I picked pecans because I love pecans, especially in fall food.

A little flour will help bind your topping too, and ensure the sugar doesn't melt into a straight-up caramel.

Just a few whirrs will do it--you still want idenfiable bits of nuts in the topping. Once it's combined to your satisfaction, you can pour it over the top of the potatoes.

Spread the topping evenly over the potatoes and then pop the dish in a 350F oven for about 30-35 minutes.

Let it bake until the potatoes are bubbling hot and the topping is golden brown. (I mean, golden-browner than it was before ... )

Scoop yourself up a huge spoonful. It's addicting--I promise!

Recipe: Baked Sweet Potatoes

3 large sweet potatoes
1/3 c. half and half
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 tbsp. maple syrup
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 tbsp. cold butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. pecans
1/4 c. flour

Roast sweet potatoes in 425F oven for 1 hour or until completely cooked through. Let cool.

Peel sweet potatoes and place in large bowl. Add half and half, maple syrup, butter, eggs, salt, vanilla, and cayenne pepper. Mash or blend sweet potato mixture until smooth. Pour into a large, shallow baking dish.

Using a food processor or pastry cutter, combine brown sugar and butter until well incorporated. Add in pecans and flour until just combined. Sprinkle topping over sweet potatoes.

Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes until potatoes are hot and topping is golden brown.

No comments:

Post a Comment