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Sweet Potatoes for someone who doesn't want them "to sweet"

I have the assignment of the sweet potatoes. But, the person who requested them states "please don't put the marshmellos on". Who can blame her. She prefers them mashed and "a little butter and salt". Being Thanksgiving....surely "something" else can be added for more flavor without going overboard on the "sweetness". Any ideas? How do you fix them ?

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  1. add some heat - hot sauce, a little chipotle in adobo, new mexico chili powder
    also cumin is great with sweet potatoes, as are toasted nuts(walnuts, hazelnuts)

    1 Reply
    1. re: ghbrooklyn

      I'll second chipolte -- either a little powder, some dried chopped, or some chopped in adobo. Stir in any of those, it adds a great smokey taste.

    2. Yes, there are some interesting recipes out there and on this board for sweet potatoes cooked with chipotle in adobo and cream for a gratin; have not tried it but others on this board have loved it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Val

        Nyleve posted it last year. It is a pretty simple sweet potato gratin. Peeled sliced sweet potatoes balnketed with heavy cream which has had a chipotle whirled in it in the food processor, poured over the sweets and baked until tender. I don't know why you could not mash them and use the chipotle cream and a bit of butter in them

      2. I sometimes roast them with a little oil and salt and then top with parmesan cheese at the end. It doesn't sound like a good combo, but the result is actually really tasty and more savory than sweet.

        1 Reply
        1. re: SuzMiCo

          I do this too - adding chunks of onion, garlic and rosemary along with the cubed sweet potatoes, s&p, for the roasting and parmesan to finish.

        2. Slice em, roast em. top with butter/salt and sprinkle a bit o' brown sugar during the ending of cooking. continue until bubbly carmalization occurs. that's it right dere.
          they never come out too sweet when i have em. just stay away from marshmellows!!!


          1 Reply
          1. re: anthonyrza

            I do this too, but roast them with some cloves of garlic. My family loves sweet potatoes and garlic and just a little brown sugar makes them sweet, but not too sweet.

          2. I braise garnet sweet potatoes with bacon, onions, chiles, chicken broth, and nam pla.

            1. You know, people are funny about Thanksgiving dishes. Maybe you could make sweet potatoes two ways. If your friend just wants simple mashed sweet potatoes, putting anything else in them is just going to ruin them. If you must be creative, do half as she asked and half that are fancy. I'm sort of a sweat potato purist and like them just fine with butter. I can even live without the butter by baking a good quality sweet potato in the oven.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rworange

                I agree, if this is a request and she requested plain and simple mash I would stick with that. Well truthfully I would do them my way, with salt, butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, a little orange juice, and just a little brown sugar (say less than a tablespoon for 3 sweet potatoes). I find just a little sugar plus the OJ brings out the natural sweetness nicely. You could alternately skip the sugar, or keep it and use a little orange rind.

              2. For "slightly sweet", not too sweet, I roast sweet potatoes till soft, then remove from skin and mash with butter, salt, a little orange juice and a little sherry. Even my DH, who hates sweet foods with the main course, likes these.

                Another advantage for Thanksgiving - these can be prepared a day ahead and reheated in the oven.

                1. We just roast them and make a maple butter to serve on the side (butter whipped well with pure maple syrup & a little brown sugar). Everyone can add whatever amount of the maple butter they desire. Simple & delicious!!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: wineaux

                    I just had excellent sweets cooked very simply by my Dad - sliced in half, baked cut side down in some salted butter until done and somewhat caramelized. I was a convert to his method. The caramelization and the contrast of the salt with the sweet of the potato is great. Could doll this up with other additions, herbs, etc, but there is nothing wrong with the plain sweet potato flavor. Frying slices in butter would also work to get good caramelization.

                    My home thanksgiving dish involves frying chunks of the sweets with chunks of firm apple - some brown sugar, cinnamon and a little clove and salt are added , but again, the caramelization of the potatoes and apples in butter is they key, but this is probably to sweet for your friend.

                  2. A friend mashed them with butter and herbs (thyme, rosemary, sage) for Thanksgiving dinner a few years ago. I haven't been able to eat the candied sweet potatoes since.

                    1. Sweet potatoes are so sweet anyway, I still don't totally understand the need to bathe them in sugar. Pairing them with salt, acid, or spiciness boosts their own sweetness.