Monday, November 2, 2009

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes are one of those vegetables I don't mind at all if they seem to reproduce in my pantry. They keep much better than those leafy greens and are more versatile than okra or eggplant.

My parents were in town this past weekend, it was a wonderful time. Curtis wanted to smoke some ribs on the Big Green Egg and I was looking for a recipe to using sweet potatoes to go with it. The mashed sweet potatoes from Eastside Cafe came to mind. (aaahh...Eastside Cafe, how I love thee. Why haven't been there since forever? Oh yeah, the infant attached to my hip). This recipe is nothing like Eastside Cafe's version. However, I love them. They are creamy and sweet with a pecan crunch.

If you don't want such a sweet topping, I think you could easily cut the topping in half without sacrificing the dish (in fact, I just may try that next time). I am including a half a recipe---5 lbs of sweet potatoes seemed like too much for 4 adults and 2 occasionally picky kids (M didn't eat it, but J thought it was great). This recipe makes a 9 x 9" pan and I'd say it would easily serve 6 - 8 adults as a side.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes
adapted from Bon Appetit

1/2 c (packed) brown sugar
1/4 c pecans, chopped
2 T chilled butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2" pieces
2 large eggs
1 1/2 T maple syrup
1 T vanilla
1/2 T lemon juice
1 t salt

Mix sugar, pecans, and butter in a small bowl. Cover and chill until ready to use. Meanwhile, cook the sweet potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water until very tender. Drain. Let stand in colander for 15 minutes. Use an electric mixer to mash the sweet potatoes. Blend until sweet potatoes are smooth. In a separate large bowl, beat eggs, syrup, vanilla, lemon juice and salt. Mix in pureed sweet potatoes. Spread sweet potato mixture in a buttered 9 x 9" baking dish. (If you are making this ahead, stop here. Sprinkle pecans on top just before baking). Sprinkle pecan topping evenly over top of mixture. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven until sweet potato mixture is set and topping bubbles, about 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

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