December 2, 2010 at 8:46 a.m.

Sweet potatoes best right now!

Sweet potatoes best right now!
Sweet potatoes best right now!

It's December already and the beautiful autumn weather we enjoyed for so long has come to an end. It isn't even winter yet, according to the winter solstice, but "baby it's cold outside"!

How about a "hot potato." This expression originated many years ago when impatient children, and some adults too, couldn't resist the sweet potato baked in hot ashes and refused to allow them to cool before eating them. Gradually the expression became a symbolic one...a "hot potato" was too hot to handle. I don't think the way it is said these days is referring to the veggie! H-m-m.

Sweet potatoes are at best right now. If you've only eaten them with a brown sugar and butter glaze, or mashed, put in a casserole dish and graced with mini marshmallows, you're missing out on a easily made, delicious way to eat them. As the expression indicated...baked in hot ashes, skip that and bake them in the oven as you would a baked white potato. You can boil them, let them cool, peel the skin off and cube them. Then it's into the frying pan to lightly brown using a little butter or olive oil. You can also make oven sweet potato fries (recipe follows).

MASHED SWEET POTATOES WITH PECANS

1/2 c. packed brown sugar

1/4 c. chopped pecans

2 T. chilled butter cut into 1/8-inch pieces

2-1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-1/2-inch piece

2 large eggs

1-1/2 T. maple syrup (not pancake syrup)

1 T. vanilla

1-1/2 t. lemon juice

1/2 t. salt

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, pecans and butter; cover. Chill until ready to use. (Note, can be kept in fridge 2 days ahead). Cook sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan for about 12 minutes or until very tender. Drain in colander for 15 minutes. Puree in blender or food processor.

In a medium bowl, beat together rest of ingredients. Mix in pureed potatoes. Turn into a butter 9x9-inch glass baking pan. Sprinkle with pecan topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until sweet potato mixture is set and topping bubbles. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

+++++

CRISPY SWEET POTATO FRIES

2 lbs., large potatoes, scrubbed

1 T. olive or canola oil

1/4 t. each, salt and pepper

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cut potatoes in half, lengthwise; cut into 1/2-inch wedges. Toss with remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.

Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a nonstick baking sheet or cover sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes; turn and bake 15-20 minutes more or until tender.

Makes 4 servings.

+++++

CANDIED SWEET POTATOES AND APPLES

3 medium-size fresh sweet potatoes (about 1-1/2 lbs., total)

2 medium size tart cooking apples (Granny Smith, Haralson, Cortland), cored and sliced about 1/2-inch thick

1/3 c. firmly packed brown sugar

2 T. apple juice

1 T. butter or margarine

1/4 t. ground allspice

1/8 t. nutmeg (if you don't have allspice, combine 1/2 t. nutmeg with 1/4 t. cinnamon)

Peel and slice fresh potatoes 1/2-inch thick. In a large saucepan, cover potatoes with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat and simmer, covered, for 8-10 minutes or till potatoes are almost tender. Drain. Or use canned sweet potatoes; drain.

Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet combine next 6 ingredients. Bring just to a boil over medium heat. Lower heat slightly and cook, uncovered, for 3-5 minutes or until apples are almost tender and juice mixture is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Gently stir in potatoes. Cook, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes more or until apples are tender and potatoes are heated through, spooning the juice mixture, stirring occasionally. Gently stir in potatoes. Cook, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes more or until apples are tender and potatoes are heated through, spooning the juice mixture over potatoes occasionally.

Makes 6 servings.

TFD: The first hour of waking is the rudder that guides the whole day.

Comments:

Commenting has been disabled for this item.

Events

February

SU
MO
TU
WE
TH
FR
SA
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
25
26
27
28
29
1
2
SUN
MON
TUE
WED
THU
FRI
SAT

To Submit an Event Sign in first

Today's Events

No calendar events have been scheduled for today.

Events

February

SU
MO
TU
WE
TH
FR
SA
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
25
26
27
28
29
1
2
SUN
MON
TUE
WED
THU
FRI
SAT

To Submit an Event Sign in first

Today's Events

No calendar events have been scheduled for today.