Every year I'm faced with the dilemma: to sweet potato or not to sweet potato. If I sweet potato, I'm left with oceans of orange puree studded with icebergs of marshmallow clogging up the flow of refrigerator. One can't easily access the turkey and mayo without having to lug the tray of gooey glop to and from the counter. No one goes for sweet potato leftovers. Ever. If I don't sweet potato, the autumnal pallet of Thanksgiving pales, the caramelized aroma never blesses our house. My cells will demand, "Vitamin A, where are you?" How can I deny the superfood a seat at the Thanksgiving table?
Recently I've come across a sweet potato recipe that will lure the most sophisticated of palates (and my kids like them too). The recipe calls for no added sweetness, which I gladly welcome. The sweet potato contains many natural sugars that caramelizes while cooking, so the added brown sugar and (dare I say) marshmallow only adds redundancy and tooth decay. Playing on spice, this recipe smells divine as it roasts in your oven and maintains its shape and texture. Good luck and may the tray of sweet potatoes go quickly!
Caribbean Sweet Potatoes (so easy it's sickening)
1/2 sweet potato per person
cinnamon, chili powder, clove
salt and pepper to taste
In a dutch oven or ceramic roasting dish, place cubed sweet potatoes. Toss with olive oil and sprinkle with cinnamon and chili powder, add a pinch of powdered cloves. Roast at 375 until tender tossing every 15-20 minutes. The end product can be displayed in an earthen bowl for a beautiful and rustic Thanksgiving side.
To make into a casserole because you just can't help yourself: bake the sweet potatoes whole, mash and add the same seasonings. Then, top with spiced rum, a touch of maple syrup melted with a thick pat of butter, and pecans. It may have the consistency of baby food, but these sweet potatoes are very grown up.