Monday, November 10, 2008

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Thyme & Pepper

I HATE sweet potatoes -- at least I hate sweet potatoes as most of us were introduced to them: sickly sugary, mixed or coated with some combination of brown sugar, maple syrup, pineapple or, God forbid, marshmallows!! Ack. Tooth-achingly sweet and bearing so little resemblance to the actual flavor of a sweet potato, I was repulsed by these even as a kid. Thankfully, so was my mom, so I was only subjected to them at the homes of relatives and well-meaning church family members.

However, I cooked all the food for my boss's Yom Kippur dinner last month, and at her request, found a recipe for non-sweet mashed sweet potatoes. Took some serious digging, but I found one that had no added sweet ingredients and then took it up a step by adding in dried thyme (which goes so well with ALL root veggies and tubers!) and lots of freshly ground black pepper.

Because sweet potatoes retain more water than some regular varieties of potatoes when boiled, I used half & half instead of milk to make them, as well as REAL butter.

Please, please do not use margarine when making these. They need the creamy texture that only real butter can give, and besides, if you don't have cholesterol problems, butter is better for you than margarine. It contains the same fat, no trans fats and has the added nutritional value of protein and calcium! Can't get those from partially hydrogenated vegetable oil!

Anyway, here's the recipe:

  • 4-5 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup or more half & half
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves o 2 tablespoons fresh leaves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt for cooking potatoes

Scrub sweet potatoes and cut into large chunks. Place in a pot of cold, salted water and boil until tender; depending on potatoes, this could take 30 minutes after the water comes to a boil. Potatoes are done when they pierce easily with a fork. Drain and let cool. When cool to the touch, remove peels and place potatoes in a large mixing bowl.

With a mixer, mash potatoes until smooth. Add butter (cut in small chunks), thyme and pepper. Add in just enough cream to make smooth. Depending on your potatoes, this could be as little as 2 tablespoons! Mix by hand until combined. Taste, and adjust for salt and other seasonings. Garnish with an additional sprinkle of pepper and thyme leaves.

Serve immediately, OR refrigerate up to two days and reheat at 325 for about 60 minutes before serving.

Note: making these this weekend and will update with a photo!

1 comment:

Tracy the Blogger said...

Now that we've gotten Barack Obama elected, we can focus on another really important issue -- our stomachs! Glad to see a new recipe.