Sweet potatoes are in season and around my house, they are a seasonal favourite too! My daughter’s favourite way to eat sweet potatoes is that traditional holiday dish with lots of marshmallows but I don’t think I have ever found a sweet potato recipe I didn’t like. Here are some of our favourites as well as a few new discoveries that I can’t wait to try!
How to Grow Sweet Potatoes
My daughter’s favourite: Candied yams OR sweet potatoes: This is not something I use a recipe for. I just wing it based on what I think would taste good. Usually this is comprised of yams or sweet potatoes (depends on what’s readily available and the prices but I prefer sweet potatoes…and yes despite many many Thanksgiving table debates in our family, yams and sweet potatoes are two different vegetables – see this link if you’d like to know more! http://homecooking.about.com/od/howtocookvegetables/a/sweetpotatodiff.htm), brown sugar, little bits of butter, some mini marshmallows, and some walnuts or pecans on top for crunch. You can puree the potatoes first if you would prefer but I just cut them in chunks. It can be nice to add a touch of vanilla to this recipe for an extra bit of yum!
I just love risotto. A friend of mine has the best butternut squash risotto recipe. We used to do a lunch exchange when we taught at the same school. One day I would bring in lunch for both of us and the next day it was her turn. Usually we did it by simply making a little extra of whatever we were having for dinner the night before and bringing those leftovers in and thankfully, we are both good gourmet cooks so we had the best meals in the staffroom! My favourite was always when she would bring in her risotto. I have tried to duplicate her recipe but I found that risotto was so much work and I never could perfect it. Maybe now that my life is a bit slower and calmer I could but then I spied this recipe on a favourite blog and I will be giving this a shot sometime very soon. Not only does sweet potato risotto sound delicious but this oven version sounds so much easier to make!:
A Silly Sweet Potato Song
Another favourite sweet potato recipe of mine is very very simple. I make sweet potato oven fries. I don’t even bother to peel the potatoes – the peel is where most of the nutrients are and I like the taste. I simply clean the potatoes and cut them into strips (just like regular French fries). Then to add a little crunch to them, I dip them in egg whites. (this also makes this a low calorie low fat dish…you can do the same with ordinary potatoes). If you want to you can now add some seasoning to them but I generally leave them plain (sea salt or Sel de Fleur is nice, paprika, garlic powder, or herbs like basil can be really good on these too…experiment!). Spray your baking sheet with a cooking spray like Pam or if you don’t mind the added fat, rub it with a little olive oil. Place the potato strips in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake in a 425 degree F oven until cooked through and crispy on the outside. (Note: sweet potatoes cook faster than white potatoes do. Not sure why since they are so much harder than regular potatoes but it’s true!)
This is an alternative to the candied yams I am used to baking and I think it sounds so good I am going to try this variation this year!
Mashed Sweet Potato Bake
3 large sweet potatoes
¼ cup butter at room temperature
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract (the amount for real vanilla…if using imitation, increase this to 1 ½-2 tsp.)
½ cup sugar
¼ cup bourbon
For the topping:
1/3 cup butter that has been melted and cooled
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans
Instructions: Place the sweet potatoes in a 350 degree F oven and bake them until done. This will take about 45 minutes to an hour. Peel the potatoes and mash them. Add the remaining ingredients to the potatoes and whip with a hand mixer. This recipe can be made ahead of time BUT if you do so, you need to leave out the bourbon and leave off the topping mix until serving time. When it’s serving time, you need to combine all of the topping ingredients with the exception of the marshmallows together and spread it evenly over the potato mixture in a baking dish. (It’s advisable to spray the baking dish with cooking spray to prevent sticking). Sprinkle marshmallows on top as desired. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30-45 minutes until the topping is golden brown and crispy.
Cooking Sweet Potato Leaves
I am not a big soup eater. I think it might be because soup was something my Mom always served me when I was sick and so I just associate it with that. This Maple Cream Sweet Potato soup, though, sounds positively delicious and I can’t wait to try it. It comes from Rachael Ray and she serves it alongside Griddled Cheddar Apple Dippers which makes it sound even better!
Another couple from Rachael Ray: Bacon and Sweet Potato Hash
Sweet Potato Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
How to Make Sweet Potato Pone
I don’t care for sweet potato pie. It tastes too much like pumpkin pie to me. But in case you do, here’s a recipe for it from Martha Stewart:
Another favourite recipe around my house is twice baked potatoes. Here’s a version I like using sweet potatoes:
2 large sweet potatoes
Milk or cream
(or you can use ¼ cup plain cream cheese in place of the milk/cream and butter if you prefer. I like it better with the milk and butter.)
1 T. brown sugar (optional – I generally leave it out but it is a good with it in there too. If I am using the brown sugar I also use ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon and ¼ cup chopped pecans or walnuts)
Instructions: Bake the sweet potatoes in a 350 degree F oven for about 45 minutes to an hour until done. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and gently scoop out the insides. Be sure not to scoop right through the skin as you will need this as your shell. Mash the sweet potatoes with milk/cream and butter or with the cream cheese, adding the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts if desired. Put the mashed potato mixture back into the 4 shells and place these on a baking sheet. Put this back in the oven and bake for about 5-10 minutes until heated back through and crispy on top.
One of our other favourite and very easy recipes is simply to boil some sweet potatoes along with regular white potatoes and then mash them together just as you would make mashed potatoes. The sweet potatoes add a really delicious twist to the recipe. (Carrots are a yummy substitute for the sweet potatoes too!) Another variation on a traditional recipe is to substitute sweet potatoes for all or some of the regular potatoes when making scalloped potatoes. Mmmmm!
James Taylor singing the Sweet Potato Pie Song