With Thanksgiving coming and fall’s crop of firm, perfect sweet potatoes in the store, I am thinking of ways to prepare them other than the traditional somewhat sugary sweet potato casserole that accompanies Thanksgiving dinner.
At The Berghoff Restaurant our chef Matt Reichel is always coming up with new twists on old favorites. One of his latest riffs on mashed potatoes was a wonderful little russet potato puff, velvety and tender on the inside and crisp on the outside.
So inspired by his ability to make something new and exciting out of something traditional, I put on my culinary thinking cap and came up with a new recipe for sweet potatoes: Sweet Potato Puffs. The sweet potatoes are microwaved or baked to preserve the full flavor and not boiled which dilutes flavor.
They can be served as starters or appetizers and work just as well as an elegant side dish for dinner.
These are best served warm, but they can be reheated as well.
And if you are attached to a sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving dinner, I recommend spooning the mixture into a quart casserole (first sprayed with cooking spray), drizzling some butter or nondairy butter alternative over the top and baking until cooked through and hot.
Here’s another idea: spray small ramekins with cooking spray, spoon the sweet potato mixture in, drizzle with butter and bake on a half-sheet tray for individual portions.
- 2 pounds (about 3 large) sweet potatoes, skin on
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter or nondairy alternative
- 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- Slash tops of potatoes with a sharp knife and cook in the microwave on high until cooked through, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, bake in a 425°F oven until cooked through, at least 1 hour.)
- As soon as the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut in half, scoop out the flesh and transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer. (Alternatively use a separate bowl and a sturdy hand mixer.)
- Add butter, sugar, spice and salt and beat well until mixture is smooth and free of lumps. Add eggs and beat until mixture is light and fluffy.
- Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper. Spray paper with nonstick cooking spray. Using a 1/4-cup cookie scoop, scoop generous portions out onto the parchment paper, spacing 1/2-inch apart.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray tops of the puffs lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Bake until the puffs are cooked through and the tops have begun to brown lightly, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove from pan with spatula and serve warm.
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