Gather round, and let me tell you the tale of the Sweet Potato Debacle of Christmas Eve 2010. I was meeting TC’s extended family for the first time, and our duty was to bring a sweet potato dish. Um, no pressure or anything. I had a winning recipe in hand for mashed sweet potatoes, but I made one crucial error: I bought the wrong kind of sweet potatoes. I ended up with the white ones, which, as most people know, are NOT the kind you should serve at the holidays (actually, I don’t recommend them at all, but that’s just me). Anyway, being that we cooked them at the last minute, we had very little choice but to make the most of the situation. Which, in this case, involved putting another whole stick of butter into the potatoes. “Butter makes everything better,” I always say (that is, before the lactose gets the better of me).
Fast forward to this past Thanksgiving. We were again given the responsibility to bring a sweet potato dish. It was a second chance to redeem myself, and there was a lot riding on the outcome. Both TC and I knew the seriousness of the situation, so we did our homework and chose not one, but two recipes for the occasion. Also, 30 guests were expected, so we need to to make a lot of sweet potatoes. I scoured the Food Network recipes, narrowed it down to 5 or 6 dishes, and TC made the final decision.
The verdict? I liked both of these, although they were very different. One was a roast, and the other was a casserole, but both were relatively simple and healthy recipes that I heartily endorse.
First up: Elie Krieger’s Sweet Potato Pecan Casserole. The recipe is pretty much perfect, so I won’t copy it here. The part I enjoyed most about this dish was that it was fluffy, kind of like a souffle. The sweetness was just right too; I hate it when my sweet potatoes taste like dessert (exception: sweet potato pie). As much as I liked it, it seems more like a holiday dish to me, so it’s unlikely that I’d make it at other times of the year. That, and I’d probably eat half of it at one sitting.
The second dish was Tyler Florence’s roasted sweet potatoes with honey and cinnamon. I actually tested this recipe a couple of nights before with two sweet potatoes and found the combination of honey and olive oil to be a bit… disturbing. So, I substituted 1/2 of the olive oil with butter and omitted the olive oil drizzle at the end. I also had to cook it for a lot longer than the original recipe… so, be forewarned. I received several compliments from people along the lines of, “I normally don’t like sweet potatoes, but these are good.” WIN. To be honest, I think this recipe is only a tad better than my normal roast (salt, pepper, olive oil), but it’s a nice, simple way to dress up roasted sweet potatoes for a special occasion. Anyway, here’s the recipe, with my minor tweaks:
Roasted sweet potatoes with honey and cinnamon (adapted from Tyler Florence)
* 6 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
* 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
* 3 Tbsp butter, melted
* 3/8 cup honey
* 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, mixing thoroughly with a spatula. Lay the sweet potatoes out in a single layer on a roasting tray. Drizzle any residual liquid over the potatoes. Roast for 30 minutes or until tender.
Of course, I have to thank TC for helping to make Sweet Potato Redemption of Thanksgiving 2011 possible. Team sweet potato FTW!