Best Sweet Potato Recipes For Thanksgiving

In “Sweet Potatoes: Roasted, Loaded, Fried and Made Into Pie” by Mary-Frances Heck (Clarkson Potter, $16.99), these superfood veggies star in sweet and savory dishes. (Photo by Kristin Teig)

  • Sweet potatoes come in colorful varieties.(Photo by Kristin Teig)

    Sweet potatoes come in colorful varieties.(Photo by Kristin Teig)

  • Sweet Potato Black Bottom Pie (Photo by Kristin Teig)

    Sweet Potato Black Bottom Pie (Photo by Kristin Teig)

  • Sweet Potato-Apple Butter Crostini with Prosciutto makes a delicious starter. (Photo by Kristin Teig)

    Sweet Potato-Apple Butter Crostini with Prosciutto makes a delicious starter. (Photo by Kristin Teig)

  • of >Expand

    There are generally two camps when it comes to sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving.

    Those who champion white-to-yellow fleshed spuds with tan to dusty-ivory skin, prefer the cooked texture that is fluffy and dry, somewhat akin to Russet potatoes. Others espouse the orange-fleshed varieties, their exteriors a darker reddish-brown hue with interiors that have a sweeter taste and moist-soft texture; some label these beauties “yams,” but in fact a true yam is from a different botanical group.

    Some sweet potato aficionados might argue for a third contender, the purple-fleshed Asian varieties. But stateside, they aren’t as easy to track down, so for holiday feasting those easier-to-find varieties seem better contenders.

    Many opt for simply oven roasting them, piercing them with the tines of a fork, then roasting them in a 350-degree oven on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet until tender. But there are many more enticing options. So, Thanksgiving revelers, if you’re committed to just one variety, there are dishes that will broaden your sweet potato horizons.

    Sweet Potato 101

    I spoke with Mary-Frances Heck, food writer and senior food editor at Food and Wine magazine, about her new book, “Sweet Potatoes: Roasted, Loaded, Fried and Made into Pie.” She called sweet potatoes the new “it” vegetable due to their delicious versatility and value as a nutritional superfood.

    When asked which variety of these humble roots she prefers, she explained that light-fleshed varieties are great for braising because the softer orange-fleshed varieties tend to fall apart. Mashed and used in baked goods, she prefers the darker sweeter spuds. She noted that many recipes in her book successfully use either one.

    Here are three delicious (and do-ahead) sweet potato suggestions for Thanksgiving. View them as side-dishes, or if you have vegetarians at your holiday gatherings, one of the main events. I’ve also included an irresistible option for using leftovers in a show-stopping twice-baked rendition.

    Mashing Bliss

    Mashed orange-fleshed sweet potatoes offer a dish that can be prepared up to three days in advance. Cool the finished puree and refrigerate airtight. To reheat, microwave in a covered micro-safe bowl in one-minute increments, stirring intermittently. Or reheat stovetop on medium-low heat, stirring frequently, adding a little milk, coconut milk or water to thin the mixture to the desired consistency.

    As for the initial mashing process, you can go purist or practical. For a smooth purist puree, pass the cooked and drained spuds through a food mill or potato ricer, but for a faster more rustic option, simply mash them with a potato masher or fork. Thin them to the desired consistency with reserved cooking water, or augment with a flavored butter such as Maple-Walnut Butter or Old Bay Butter (see cook’s notes in recipe).

    Sweet Spud Appetizers

    A pre-dinner nibble is a scrumptious way to feature sweet potatoes. In her Sweet-Potato Apple Butter Crostini, Heck pairs crisp crostini with a silky made-ahead apple-cider spiked sweet potato “butter.” Crowned with a thin slice of prosciutto, speck or ham, the finger foods can be quickly assembled. She suggests serving them with glasses of Sherry, such as a dry amontillado. Leftover “butter” is delicious served with pork chops or as an optional topping on a cheese board.

    It’s easy to make everyone feel welcome by making simple adjustments to this recipe. For vegetarians, omit the prosciutto and add thinly shaved sheets of Pecorino cheese. For vegans, omit the meat and top with a good grinding of black pepper and maybe a tiny sprinkle of ground paprika.

    Black-Bottom Sweet Potato Pudding Pie

    Instead of a savory dish, a dessert that shows off the Sweet Potato Puree is a holiday menu option. Heck said that it’s one of her recipe favorites, adding that traditionally the pie is made with a layer of chocolate pudding topped with a second that is vanilla. In her version, sweet potato puree augments the top layer, adding both rich yellow-orange color and sweet-earthy flavor.

    She said that for Thanksgiving, the gingersnap crust can be baked on Tuesday or Wednesday, cooled, and the pudding layers added. Press a sheet of plastic wrap against the surface of the pudding and refrigerate. On feast day, have the whipped cream ready, remove the plastic wrap and spread cream on top. If you want a shortcut, use a store-bought chocolate or graham cracker crust.

    Leftover Twice-Baked Bonanza

    Heck described these bountiful Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes as “somewhere between a healthy version of potato skin and a loaded platter of nachos.” The sweet potatoes are halved lengthwise and baked cut-side-down on a parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet. She builds them in small- or medium-sized sweet potatoes, not designating a specific variety, revving up the flavor of the mashed spud by adding a little chopped chipotle chili and adobo sauce.

    The topping can include chopped leftover turkey, cranberry sauce or roasted vegetables, along with cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions and diced avocado. It’s a build-your-own kind of a concoction. For a vegetarian version, leave out the turkey and add drained canned black beans.

     

    Sweet Potato Puree

    Yield: about 2 cups (can be doubled, tripled or quadrupled)

    INGREDIENTS

    1 1/2 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes

    Cook’s notes

    Puree can be augmented with a flavored butter. For Maple-Walnut Butter, mash 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon maple syrup and a pinch of salt using a fork to form a chunky mixture. For Old Bay Butter, mash 2 tablespoons unsalted butter with Old Bay or Cajun seasoning using a fork until smooth. Add flavored butter to taste, starting with a couple of teaspoons. Any leftover flavored-butter can be frozen if desired.

    PROCEDURE

    1. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes. Put in large saucepan. Add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Place on medium-high heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low to maintain a gentle simmer; simmer until fully tender about 15 minutes. Drain, reserving cooking liquid.

    2. For perfectly smooth puree, first pass sweet potatoes through a food mill or press through a potato ricer, discarding any pulpy, stringy flesh that remains. Give puree a stir; add 1 to 2 tablespoons of cooking liquid if puree seems too dry. Or, for a coarser mixture, simply mash sweet potatoes with the back of a fork or potato masher. They will collapse into a relatively smooth mass that should not require additional liquid to remain moist.

    3. To store: cool completely and refrigerate in airtight container for up to 3 days.

    Source: “Sweet Potatoes: Roasted, Loaded, Fried and Made into Pie” by Mary-Frances Heck (Clarkson Potter, $16.99)

     

    Sweet Potato-Apple Butter Crostini with Prosciutto

    Yield: 32 crostini

    INGREDIENTS

    2 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled, diced

    4 cups apple cider (not apple juice)

    3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

    1/2 teaspoon salt, kosher preferred

    32 baguette slices, 1/2-inch thick, see cook’s notes

    16 slices prosciutto, torn in half, see cook’s notes

    Freshly ground black pepper to taste

    Cook’s notes

    For crostini, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange baguette slices in single layer on one or two rimmed baking sheets. Brush both sides lightly with extra-virgin olive oil. Toast 10 to 15 minutes, turning half way through. Keep an eye on them with oven light on; the dryer the bread, the quicker they toast. Cool.

    If you prefer, substitute thinly-sliced Pecorino cheese for the prosciutto. Or for a non-meat, non-dairy version, simply top with freshly ground black pepper and a smidgen of ground paprika.

    PROCEDURE

    1. Prepare sweet potato-apple butter: In large, heavy ovenproof pot or Dutch oven, combine sweet potatoes, cider, brown sugar and salt. Set on medium heat and bring to simmer. Moderate heat as needed to maintain a vigorous simmer and cook, stirring occasionally to make sure the sweet potatoes do not scorch, until they are very soft, about 30 minutes.

    2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mash mixture with potato masher for a coarser butter or puree it with an immersion blender for smoother results. Scrape down sides of pot with rubber spatula. Slide pot into oven and bake, stirring every 30 minutes, until mixture is very thick and glossy, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Let cool, then transfer to airtight container. There will be about 4 cups. The sweet potato-apple butter will keep, covered and refrigerated, for 1 month.

    3. Toast baguette slices; cool. Smear each with sweet potato-apple butter. Top with some prosciutto or speck and freshly ground black pepper.

    Source: adapted from “Sweet Potatoes: Roasted, Loaded, Fried and Made into Pie” by Mary-Frances Heck (Clarkson Potter, $16.99)

     

    Black-Bottom Sweet Potato Pudding Pie

    Yield: one 9-inch pie

    INGREDIENTS

    1 1/2 cups finely crushed gingersnap cookies

    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    2 large egg yolks

    1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided use

    1 cup whole milk

    2 tablespoons cornstarch

    4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

    2 tablespoons dark rum or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

    1 cup Sweet Potato Puree (see recipe)

    2 cups whipped cream

    PROCEDURE

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    2. Dump gingersnap crumbs and salt into a 9-inch pie pan. Drizzle melted butter over crumbs; use a fork to work the butter into crumbs until they are uniformly moist. Use the bottom of a glass or the back of a large spoon to pack crumbs onto the bottom and sides of the pie pan. Bake crust until firm, about 8 minutes. Remove from oven; cool.

    3. In heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar. In small saucepan on medium-high heat, whisk together remaining 1/4 cup sugar, milk and cornstarch. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture bubbles and thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and, while whisking, gradually pour half of thickened milk into the egg yolk mixture. Pour the yolk mixture into saucepan with the remaining milk and whisk to combine. Set pan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until pudding boils and becomes very thick, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in cream cheese and rum (or vanilla).

    4. Place melted chocolate in small bowl and add 3/4 cup of pudding base. Stir until mixture is smooth. Pour chocolate pudding into cooled pie shell and chill until set, about 1 hour.

    5. Meanwhile, stir sweet potato puree into remaining pudding base. Cover and chill until chocolate layer of pie is set; then gently spread sweet potato pudding over chocolate layer. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. Top with whipped cream just before serving.

    Source: “Sweet Potatoes: Roasted, Loaded, Fried and Made into Pie” by Mary-Frances Heck (Clarkson Potter, $16.99)

     

    Gobbler Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

    Yield: 4 to 6

    INGREDIENTS

    2 pounds small or medium sweet potatoes, orange- or light-fleshed

    1 tablespoon canola or grapeseed oil

    Kosher salt

    1 chipotle chili from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped

    2 tablespoons adobo sauce from canned chipotles, plus more as needed

    1 1/2 cups diced cooked turkey (or drained cooked or canned black beans)

    1 cup grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

    1/2 cup sour cream

    1/2 cup chopped green onions (white and green parts)

    1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced

    Optional: sliced pickled jalapenos

    PROCEDURE

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

    2. Slice sweet potatoes lengthwise in half, rub with oil, and season with salt. Arrange them, cut-side down on prepared baking sheet and roast until tender, about 25 minutes. Set aside to cool; increase oven temperature to 375 degrees.

    3. When cool enough to handle, scoop out most of flesh from skin, leaving 1/4-inch shell intact to help skins maintain structure. Place flesh in a bowl and use a fork to mash it with the chopped chipotle and adobo sauce. Fold in turkey and season to taste with salt and another spoonful of adobo sauce, if you like it spicy.

    4. Line up sweet potato skins and choose the 12 prettiest and most structurally sound; scrape out remaining skins, add that flesh to the turkey mixture and discard those skins. Place the 12 showcase skins on a fresh piece of parchment paper on the baking sheet. Divide the turkey mixture among them. Pile a pinch of cheese on top of each and return to oven. Roast until filling is hot and cheese is melted and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Transfer to big platter and top with blobs of sour cream. Scatter with green onions and avocado. If you like, top with pickled jalapeno slices Serve.

    Source: adapted from “Sweet Potatoes: Roasted, Loaded, Fried and Made into Pie” by Mary-Frances Heck (Clarkson Potter, $16.99)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Source : http://www.ocregister.com/2017/11/14/best-sweet-potato-recipes-for-thanksgiving/

    Best sweet potato recipes for Thanksgiving
    Ready your bread baskets: Our best roll, muffin and corn bread recipes for Thanksgiving
    The 6 Best Sweet Potato Recipes We've Ever Featured
    Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe with Pecan Topping
    Lentil & Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
    7 Recipes For A Unique & Delicious Thanksgiving
    Vegan Bourbon-Orange Sweet Potato Pie
    Maple Glazed Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
    Last-minute ideas for Thanksgiving dinner
    Residence halls create elegant feast for Thanksgiving meal