by Julie Snyder
Would it be Thanksgiving without the sweet potatoes? Even if your family has that belief, you could be tired of the same old offerings. Here's a solution! Serve mashed sweet potatoes with a Southwestern twist.
It could displace a holiday classic. One guest said that this sweet potato dish beats the heck out of any version topped with mini-marshmallows.
The slight hint of lime here brightens the dish to keep it from being heavy while the chipotle paste gives it a kick. Just be careful to add the paste in small increments, as it can be add heat quickly.
Any extra will keep well in the refrigerator for a few weeks. Ours doesn't last long -- the extra ends up on scrambled eggs and quesadillas.
Prep time: 10 minutes | Total time: 25 minutes | Yield: 6 to 8 servings
• 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
• 1/2 cup milk
• 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
• juice of 1 lime
• 2 tablespoons cup brown sugar, optional
• 1 cinnamon stick
For the chipotle paste:
• 1 small can chipotle chilies en adobo
Prepare the chipotle paste: Remove the whole chilies from the adobo sauce. Chop the peppers finely. Add them back to the sauce and mix well. Set aside. You can refrigerate any leftover in a covered container for several days.
Prepare the sweet potatoes: Put the sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover completely with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce the temperature and simmer the sweet potatoes until they are tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes. Drain the water. Return the potatoes to pan.
Set the pot back on medium-low heat, stirring constantly, to evaporate any remaining water, about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan from the heat.
Add the butter, lime juice and half of the milk. Mash into the potatoes, adding addition milk until it reaches your desired consistency. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated, about 2 minutes.
Stir in 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated cinnamon and brown sugar and salt to taste into the mashed potato mixture.
Add chipotle paste to the mixture in 1/2 to 1 teaspoon increments to taste. Stir thoroughly to blend. Reserve the remaining chipotle paste for another use.
Before serving, sprinkle the top with another 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon.
When boiling root vegetables or tubers, start them in cold water so that they cook through without the outside cooking too quickly and getting mushy.
A good rule of thumb: Any vegetables grown below the ground should be started in cold water, and any that grow above the ground should be started in hot water.
How does your family like sweet potatoes -- with marshmallows or without?
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.