Roasted gar­lic adds pop to sweet pota­toes

Santa Fe New Mexican - - TASTE - By Katie Workman

While I love sweet pota­toes sim­ply mashed with some but­ter and milk and not much else, that can be bor­ing.

Then, be­cause of the nat­u­rally sweet na­ture of th­ese pota­toes, the ten­dency is to go for sea­son­ings and fla­vors that un­der­score or am­plify the sweet­ness. But that gets pre­dictable as well.

In my quest for dif­fer­ent, for sa­vory and for not a lot of ex­tra think­ing, I picked roasted gar­lic as the new­est un­com­pli­cated ad­di­tion to sweet pota­toes. I’m fairly cer­tain this recipe is go­ing to wig­gle its way into the reg­u­lar ro­ta­tion. Start with about eight cloves of the roasted gar­lic, which will give the dish a nice but not too in­tense gar­licky fla­vor, and add more if you want a more pro­nounced hit of gar­lic.

There are many types of sweet pota­toes, and if you are a fan, have at it and get to know the dif­fer­ent kinds. The ex­te­ri­ors and in­te­ri­ors range con­sid­er­ably in color, but most com­mon are shades of white, tan and all sorts of or­anges.

In this recipe, I tested with an or­ganic sweet potato with a very pale cream in­te­rior (kind of the color of Yukon golds). Next time I might look for or­ange sweet pota­toes, since I am a sucker for the color and it makes a hol­i­day ta­ble feel like a hol­i­day ta­ble to me.

If you haven’t ever tried mak­ing roasted gar­lic, just do that to­day. Start the gar­lic be­fore you start the pota­toes, so the gar­lic will be roasted when you are ready to mash. It’s such a sim­ple way to change up the fla­vor of ev­ery­thing from a cros­tini top­ping to a sauce to a chicken dish.

MASHED SWEET POTA­TOES

WITH ROASTED GAR­LIC Makes 8 serv­ings; to­tal time: 1 hour,

in­clud­ing roast­ing the gar­lic ROASTED GAR­LIC: 1 head gar­lic 2 tea­spoons olive oil Gen­er­ous pinch salt Prepa­ra­tion: Pre­heat the oven to 400 de­grees. Slice the top off the head of gar­lic so that the top of the cloves are ex­posed. (You can do as many of th­ese as you want, at the same time.) Place each head on a square of alu­minum foil, driz­zle with olive oil, sprin­kle with salt, and wrap up the cloves well in the foil. Bake for about 45 min­utes un­til the gar­lic is very soft.

When cool enough to han­dle, squeeze out the roasted gar­lic from the pa­pery wrap­per, press­ing up from the bot­tom to pop it out. MASHED SWEET POTA­TOES: Coarse or kosher salt to taste 3 pounds sweet pota­toes, peeled and cubed 2 ta­ble­spoons olive oil 3 ta­ble­spoons un­salted but­ter ¾ cup whole milk or half and half (or a combo), warmed ¼ tea­spoon freshly ground black pep­per Prepa­ra­tion: Bring a large pot of salted wa­ter to a boil over high heat. Add the pota­toes, al­low the wa­ter to re­turn to a sim­mer. Ad­just the heat so the wa­ter re­mains at a sim­mer, and sim­mer un­til the sweet pota­toes are soft, about 20 to 25 min­utes.

Drain the pota­toes. Ei­ther re­turn them to the pot with about eight cloves of the gar­lic, or to taste, and mash with an im­mer­sion blender or a potato masher, or put the pota­toes through a ricer or food mill with the de­sired amount of gar­lic, do­ing this so the riced pota­toes fall back into the pot. Add the olive oil, but­ter, milk, salt, and pep­per, and stir to thor­oughly com­bine. Serve hot.

Nu­tri­tion in­for­ma­tion per serv­ing: 229 calo­ries; 73 calo­ries from fat; 8 g fat (4 g sat­u­rated; 0 g trans fats); 14 mg choles­terol; 344 mg sodium; 36 g car­bo­hy­drate; 5 g fiber; 8 g sugar; 4 g pro­tein.

SARAH CROW­DER VIA AP

Mashed sweet pota­toes with roasted gar­lic.

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