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TIP OF THE DAY: New Ways To Use Sweet Potatoes

Say “sweet potatoes” and most people think Thanksgiving. But this delicious and affordable veg is a year-round favorite in our home.

While some family recipes are sacred, look for ways to enjoy sweet potatoes in advance of Thanksgiving dinner. These two year-round recipes are from Elizabeth Karmel and the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission. You can make them in the oven, but a grill delivers smoky and caramelized flavors.

TWICE BAKED MAPLE CHIPOTLE SWEET
POTATOES WITH GOAT CHEESE & PUMPKIN
SEEDS

These fluffy and smooth twice-baked sweet potatoes balance sweet maple syrup, smoky sweet potatoes, spiced pepitas, and goat cheese for a dish that’s as tasty as it is beautiful.

RECIPE: TWICE-BAKED SWEET POTATOES

Ingredients For 8 Portions

  • 6 large sweet potatoes (about 1 pound each)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 heaping cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  •  

    Twice-baked sweet potatoes, made on the grill. Photo courtesy Chef Elizabeth Karmel | North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission.

  • 1-2 canned chipotles in adobo sauce, depending on how you like it
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4-6 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup roasted pepitas or pumpkin seeds
  •  
    Preparation

    1. CLEAN potatoes with a vegetable brush. Dry well and thinly coat all over with olive oil and prick the tops with a fork or with the end of a sharp knife three times.

    2. PREHEAT grill to high. Place potatoes in the center of the grill cooking grate and grill-roast for about 1 hour or until the skin is crisp and the inside is soft. Turn once halfway through the cooking time. You can usually tell that the potato is done if there are dark caramelized bubbles of the natural sugars on the outside of the skin. Remove from grill, set aside. Oven alternative: Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake until tender but not mushy, about 1 hour. Let cool to lukewarm. Reduce heat to 350°F.

    3. CHOOSE the four potatoes with the most complete skin and cut them in half lengthwise. Leaving a 1/2-inch margin of the potato intact, with a spoon scoop out the sweet potato flesh and remove to bowl of a food processor or blender; reserve skins. Peel remaining two sweet potatoes and add flesh to the bowl; discard skins.

    3. ADD yogurt, maple syrup, chipotle, cinnamon and salt to potato flesh in bowl; purée until smooth*. Place mixture in a piping bags, or use a spoon, to transfer mixture into reserved shells; top with goat cheese.

    4. PLACE on a rack over a baking sheet; bake until filling is warmed through and cheese is melty and lightly browned, about 25 minutes. To serve, garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds.

    *Mixture can be refrigerated for up to 2 days at this point. Follow remaining instructions and bake in oven until filling is warmed through, about 50 minutes.

     


    Photo courtesy Chef Elizabeth Karmel |
    North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission.
      GRILLED SWEET POTATO SALAD WITH HOT
    BACON DRESSING, BLUE CHEESE & PECANS

    Crunchy pecans, tangy sundried tomatoes, charred sweet potato rounds and creamy blue cheese tossed in a savory bacon dressing: What could be better?

    Ingredients For Hot Bacon Dressing
    (6 Portions)

  • 6 slices center-cut bacon
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Country Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease, warm
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  •  
    For Sweet Potato Salad

  • 2-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 large), peeled and cut into 1-inch rounds
  • Sea salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup sliced scallions (about 10-12 scallions)
  • ½ cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil and cut into strips
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecans
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
  •  
    Preparation: Dressing

    1. PREHEAT oven to 200°F. In a skillet, cook bacon until crispy; drain and reserve grease. Crumble bacon and set aside.

    2. WHISK together vinegar and mustard in a small bowl; slowly whisk in olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the reserved bacon grease until dressing is emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm in oven.
     
    Preparation: Potatoes

    1. LIGHTLY COAT sweet potatoes with olive oil, using a brush. If you are multiplying the recipe, it is easier to put the potatoes in a resealable plastic bag, add the oil and massage to coat all surfaces.

    2. JUST before putting on the grill, season sweet potatoes liberally with salt. Place rounds directly on the cooking grate over direct heat; grill until well-marked, about 3 minutes on each side. Move to indirect heat. Finish cooking, turning half way through, until soft and tender, 20-30 minutes. Remove from grill. Immediately cut into quarters and remove to a large bowl.

    3. MAKE the salad: Add 2 tablespoons of the dressing to the sweet potatoes toss until just coasted. Add reserved bacon, scallions, sundried tomatoes, pecans and blue cheese. Drizzle a little more dressing and toss to coat. Season to taste. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

    For Oven Roasting

    1. PREHEAT oven to 400°F. On a rack fitted into a baking sheet, place sweet potato rounds and season well with salt. Bake until tender and browned around the edges, about 30 minutes. Immediately cut into quarters and remove to a large bowl.

    2. ADD 2 tablespoons of the dressing; toss until just coated. Add reserved bacon, scallions, sundried tomatoes, pecans and blue cheese. Drizzle with a little more dressing and toss to coat. Season to taste. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
     
    SWEET POTATOES VERSUS WHITE POTATOES: WHICH IS HEALTHIER?

    Both potatoes are good sources of nutrition, but according to the sweet potatoes have the edge. Sweet potatoes have:

  • 400% of your RDA of vitamin A
  • More vitamin C
  • Fewer calories and total carbs (despite having more natural sugar)
  • More fiber
  •  
    White potatoes have the advantage of being more versatile in cooking, and are less expensive. Here’s the entire article.

      




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