Tuesday, November 20, 2012

spicy twiced baked sweet potatoes for thanksgiving

we are celebrating thanksgiving in taos this year...my first ever away from california. i decided to tweak the menu a bit...combining some of our traditional dishes with new ones designed to take advantage of local ingredients.  so, my smashed potatoes will make an appearance...but they will sit next to the spicy, chorizo/tortilla/cornbread dressing i told you about last week.  we have to have the roasted brussels sprouts ....and turkey of course (i found a beautiful organic one from embudo valley organics.  their motto: humanely raised, free range, field grazed on the banks of the northern rio grande. love discovering the organic local food producers in the area)...but i am adding spicy twice baked sweet potatoes instead of the more typical sweet & spiced casserole. 

i love sweet potatoes, but am not of fan of the versions which call for added sugars albeit maple syrup, brown sugar or honey.  and marshmallows?  ick!  i usually roast them until they are beginning to caramelize with just sea salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and sometimes cayenne pepper.   this twice baked version uses the same seasonings with a bit of balsamic vinegar and smoked paprika to add just a hint of smokiness.  delicious.  and perfect for thanksgiving in taos.

spicy twice baked sweet potatoes
(serves 6)
6 medium sweet potatoes, washed and scrubbed
extra virgin olive oil
coarse grey salt
4 green onions, chopped (white and green parts)
4 tbsp mayonnaise (or vegenaise)*
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp smoked paprika
sea salt

preheat oven to 425 degrees.  prick potatoes numerous times with a small sharp knife to create small slits (this allows steam to escape resulting in baked potatoes not steamed).  place on parchment lined rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  using your hands, rub oil all over potatoes ensuring they are coated.  sprinkle grey salt over top of potatoes. place on center rack in preheated oven and bake for 1 hour.  test to see if potatoes are cooked by piercing one with a sharp knife.  knife should slide in easily without any resistance.  if not, continue cooking, checking every 10 minutes, until done.  remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle.  keep the baking sheet handy as you will reuse later.

reduce heat to 375 degrees.  cut off the top 8th of each potato. (these tops are the cooks treat!).  carefully scoop out the flesh from each potato ensuring you do not cut into the skin.  (i score the edges with a dinner knife and then use a spoon to scoop)  add the flesh to a large bowl.  mash with a potato masher or 2 forks.  add the onions, mayo, vinegar, 3 tbsp olive oil, cayenne pepper, paprika and a pinch each salt and pepper.  stir.  taste and adjust seasonings if desired.  i usually add a bit more salt and cayenne pepper, but do this to your taste.  the potatoes should be creamy so add a bit more olive oil if needed.

mound the potatoes back into the skins and place on the reserved baking sheet.  drizzle tops with additional olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika.  add back to oven and bake until hot with tops lightly browned (20-30 minutes)
* i use vegenaise to keep it vegan.  i think it is delicious but mayonnaise is just as good.

visit my other food blog red or green chile? to see my bolitas bean salad recipe.
now check out the delicious sounding thanksgiving sides recipes from the all of the other participating bloggers:

Feed Me Phoebe: Five Spice Winter Squash Soup
Chez Us: Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Virtually Homemade: Brussels Sprouts Salad With Avocado and a Tangerine Vinaigrette
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spicy Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
Red or Green?: Bolitas Bean Salad
And Love It, Too: Potatoes Au Gratin (Gluten and Dairy-Free)
Devour: Thanksgiving Yam and Sweet Potato Sides That Are Almost Desserts
The Heritage Cook: Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Cornbread Stuffing or Dressing
Cooking With Books: Rosemary and Pear Potato Salad
FN Dish: Old School Sweet Potato Soufflé

happy thanksgiving everyone!

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Diane said...

Have you ever eaten the Red Garnet sweet potato? If not, you are missing the best on the planet. They are sweet, tender, and even steam beautifully when peeled and sliced medalion style. Paired with steamed kale, olive oil, sea salt and black pepper--life does not get any better! Try it! Diane
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Alexis Marlons said...

Hey this looks great! I'm just beginning to learn how to cook and I think this will be nice. Thanks for sharing..