So­phis­ti­cated sweet pota­toes get a kick from chipo­tles

China Daily (USA) - - LIFE | DINING - By EL­IZ­A­BETH KARMEL in New York El­iz­a­beth Karmel is a bar­be­cue and South­ern foods ex­pert. She is the chef and pit mas­ter at on­line re­tailer Caroli­naCueToGo.com and the au­thor of three books, in­clud­ing Tam­ing the Flame.

Many years ago, I made this chipo­tle sweet potato puree for my good friend, pie and cake ex­pert Rose Levy Ber­an­baum. Since that day, we have each made it again and again as a great fall and win­ter side dish.

Rose likes to add Aleppo pep­per— a Turk­ish crushed chili pep­per that has an an­cho like fla­vor but is slightly sweeter and tart. And, for Thanks­giv­ing, I like to add a crust of mini marsh­mal­lows as a nod to every­one’s’ fa­vorite, candied yams with marsh­mal­lows. In this dish, the marsh­mal­lows add a nice counter-bal­ance to the smoky heat of the chipo­tles in adobo sauce and a beau­ti­ful crust. And, un­like candied yams, the dish isn’t cloy­ingly sweet.

This dish can be made the day be­fore and re-heated be­fore serv­ing, mak­ing it ideal to bring to a Thanks­giv­ing feast or to make in ad­vance if you are host­ing the hol­i­day. The recipe has just a few in­gre­di­ents so it is es­sen­tial to buy the best qual­ity in­gre­di­ents that you can find. Make sure to pur­chase Gar­net sweet pota­toes which have a deep or­ange color, and have a silkier tex­ture than other sweet pota­toes.

Chipo­tle Sweet Potato and Maple Syrup Puree

When choos­ing the pota­toes, pick about five large or 10 medium-sized pota­toes. Make sure the skin is tight, no wrin­kles and al­most shiny.

Start to fin­ish: One hour and 40 min­utes (20 min­utes ac­tive)

Serv­ings: About 8

5-10 Gar­net sweet pota­toes, about 5 pounds to­tal

1 over­flow­ing cup real maple syrup:

1 cup sour cream

1 stick un­salted but­ter, soft­ened

2 to 3 canned chipo­tles in adobo sauce

3 tea­spoons ground cin­na­mon

Fine sea salt to taste

Mini marsh­mal­lows for top­ping

Pre­heat oven to 400 F.

Clean any dirt and bad spots off pota­toes with a rough brush. Dry well. Coat all over with a lit­tle Crisco or olive oil and prick the tops with a fork about three times. Set the pota­toes on a baking sheet lined with a Sil­pat or alu­minum foil.

Place in the cen­ter of the oven and bake un­til you can see the sug­ars ooz­ing out of the fork holes, about 1 hour, or more for larger pota­toes. You can also test for done­ness by in­sert­ing a small sharp knife in the pota­toes— if it slips in eas­ily, they are done. Turn off the heat and let sit in the oven for 30-60 min­utes to fin­ish baking. They will be silky soft.

Mean­while, com­bine maple syrup, sour cream, but­ter, chipo­tles in adobo, cin­na­mon and salt in a small bowl. Scrape the mix­ture into a food pro­ces­sor and puree un­til smooth, scrap­ing down the sides as needed. Peel the pota­toes, and add the warm peeled pota­toes to the food pro­ces­sor. Process un­til silky smooth, scrap­ing down the sides as needed.

Taste for sea­son­ing, adding more salt, or maple syrup if needed. If the mix­ture is too stiff, add a bit more but­ter and/or sour cream. Trans­fer to an oven-safe casse­role dish.

Just be­fore serv­ing, sprin­kle top with mini marsh­mal­lows and set in a 400 F oven for 5-7 min­utes un­til browned and puffy. Be sure to watch as the marsh­mal­lows can go from brown to black quickly.

If mak­ing in ad­vance: Store cov­ered in the re­frig­er­a­tor. Re­move and place in a pre­heated 350 F oven for 45 min­utes or un­til hot through­out. Just be­fore serv­ing, sprin­kle top with mini marsh­mal­lows and bake at 400 F un­til browned and puffy. Nu­tri­tion in­for­ma­tion per serv­ing: 406 calo­ries; 147 calo­ries from fat; 17 g fat (11 g sat­u­rated; 0 g trans fats); 50mg­c­holes­terol; 250 mg sodium; 61 g car­bo­hy­drate; 5 g fiber; 34 g sugar; 3 g pro­tein.

Chipo­tle sweet potato puree with roasted marsh­mal­lows, a dish from a recipe by El­iz­a­beth Karmel.

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