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Sweet potato side dish for Thanksgiving-no marshmellows!

I have been asked to bring a sweet potato side dish for Thanksgiving dinner this year. It needs to be made at home and can be reheated in their oven. Any good ideas?

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  1. We love sweet potatoes at my house- and, believe it or not, I have never had them with marshmellows. Jsut sounds wrong to me! I love them prepared simply- I bake them ( make sure to pierce them, and cook them on tn foil, as they get messy). After cooking, simply add butter, salt and pepper and mash. If you like, you could also add a touch of maple syrup or brown sugar. I prefer them with just the butter and s/p.

    2 Replies
    1. re: macca

      This is how I made them last Thanksgiving and they turned out great. Personally I think putting marshmallows on top of root vegetables is a little odd.

      1. re: seconds

        I am really surprised at how many people grew up with the marshmallow sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving. I think I was an adult before I had evne heard of it- and we also never had the green bean, onion thingy, either. I think there is soup involved in the green bean recipe. It is just not right!!

    2. I think simple is best. Cut in small pieces. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Perhaps a little smoked paprika. Roast on sheet pan at 400 for 45 min to an hour until caramelized (watch it and toss around half way).

      There is a sweet potato chipotle recipe that has been kicking around on CH. I tried it last year for one of the holiday dinners. I thought it was quite good b/c I like spice, but some of my guests found it too spicy.

      1. I don't normally like sweet sides, but I always make a simple puree topped with pecan-maple crunch. It keeps well and is absolutely fantastic after being revived a bit under the broiler.

        1. Every Thanksgiving my Brother in Law makes a recipe that he found in Jimmy Carter's Family Recipe Book. I think it's called Annie Mae's Sweet Potato Casserole. It is delicious and reheats very well. If you cannot find it and want it, let me know and I will get it for you.

          1. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

            We enjoy this recipe. It's basically roasted vegies - actually tsimmis - but we dont do the stuffing into the chili part.

            1. Boil chunks of fresh sweet potatoes (about 3 lbs will fit in an 11x9 pan). Let cool and the skin comes off easily. Put chunks into pan.

              Open a can of coconut pecan frosting mix. Put in chunks (i.e., don't have to smooth out) onto the sweet potatoes.

              Put the pan into the oven when you have space. The frosting will melt.

              You can serve hot or cold (at a tailgate).

              Don't tell anyone how simple it was to make.

              1. Two:
                1. Roast sweet potatoes whole until just barely fork-tender. Peel & slice into 1/2" or so medallions. Toss in a mixture of melted butter, orange marmelade, apricot preserves and cognac. Arrange in a shallow baking dish. Cover and bake until warmed through, or chill & bake later. (this was my original response to the awful marshmallow thing)

                2. Roast, peel (or scoop) and puree. Add to the puree: butter, fresh grated ginger, orange rind, and bourbon. Puree well.

                1. I haven't made this myself, but my mom does something along these lines...

                  Just roast them in a little butter, sugar, and water. They come out kind of caramelized and pretty damn tasty. I'm not sure of the exact procedure since I've never made them myself, but that's the way I'd go.

                  Normally, I just cut them into strips and fry them.

                  1. I have made a recipe from Fine Cooking for a goat cheese, leek and sweet potato gratin. A very different take on sweet potatoes. Let me know if you want the recipe.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                      Yes please! Sounds great and I am into leeks these days.

                      1. re: laurendlewis

                        laurendlewis-I am sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. When I looked at the recipe it has shallots instead of leeks. Are you still interested?

                    2. I have two marshmallow-free sweet potato dishes that always do well:

                      Paula Deen's Sweet Potato Bake (from her original cookbook, it's probably on foodnetwork.com)-- basically just mashed sweet potatoes with egg, butter, sugar, etc, topped with pecans and brown sugar. VERY sweet but very good.

                      On the savory side: Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Onions with Rosemary and Parmesan on Epicurious. This is foolproof, makes a huge batch, better the next day, I can't recommend it enough. Don't just take my word for it; 61 other cooks have also given it glowing reviews on there (and be sure to read their reviews, SO many good ideas for variations).

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: delaneymae

                        Thank you. I just downloaded the Epicurious recipe you recommended. It sounds delicious and was just what I was looking for.

                      2. Mashed sweet potatoes topped with maple glazed pecans.

                        This even converted the sweet potato haters in my family!

                        1. An older cook told me to par boil them first and add spices to the water. Then arrange the potatoes in a roasting pan and add more spice, butter and some salt and pepper and bake. This works well. I use Penzi baking spice in the water and add ground ginger and paprika to the final bake.

                          1. My mom roasts them with butter, sugar, and Burbon. Very good!!!

                            1. I have had great success with a savory sweet potato "bread budding" ...I use mashed sweets and cracklin...very tasty alternative to that gooey sweet stuff

                              1. I mix mine with brown sugar, butter, rum, and ground pecans. Hot sauce is nice too if you want a flavor contrast.

                                1. I would make sweet potato pie. I think it tastes better than pumpkin pie. I know it's not a side dish, but it's still sweet potatoes.

                                  1. Old family recipe:
                                    Boil sweet potatoes for about 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, core and cut granny smith apples into rings (don't let them get brown, obviously). When potatoes are done, slide them out of their skins. Cut into disks. Alternate in an oblong baking dish a disk of sweet potato and then a ring of apple, in a kind of knocked over domino fashion. Pour over enough orange juice so that the potatoes and apples are covered about a quarter of the way up. Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar and dot with butter. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Potatoes and apples should be nice and tender by then. An unqualified crowd pleaser.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: charlesbois

                                      I use apple cider instead of oj and leave out the sugar - its a wonderful, low-fat, no-added-sugar side.

                                    2. My stand-by recipe for sweet potatoes is roasted. Cut into same-sized chunks, toss with onions, olive oil, garlic, s&p, and fresh rosemary. Spread in a thin layer on a roast pan. Roast in a 350 degree oven until crispy. I frequently add other root vegetables - parsnip, rutabaga, turnip, carrot, and potato.

                                      1. Mashed Sweet Potatoes with chipotle - roast potatoes with skin on - peel after cooling slightly - add butter, milk or cream, s&p and a few finely chopped chipotle in adobo.

                                        1. Chunk and parboil sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, small turnips nad new potatoes. toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a heavy pan at about 375-400 turning and tossing about every 15 minutes until crusty and brown. add chopped flat leaf parsley and some unsalted butter . toss again and serve (for lower calories, leave out the butteer at the end) It looks great and tastes better

                                          1. This recipe has been our family tradition for years. It is so fantastic no one has ever attempted anything else for fear of a Thanksgiving revolt : ) It works because it is so dessert like and absolutely scrumptious. People who would not touch sweet potatoes no matter how you cooked or fancied them up, devour this recipe. It is called sweet potato souffle:
                                            Blend in a food processor or blender the following:
                                            3 c. cooked sweet potato (fresh or canned (gasp : ))
                                            1 c. sugar
                                            1/2 tsp. salt
                                            2 eggs, beaten
                                            1/3 stick softened butter
                                            1/2 c. milk
                                            1 tsp. vanilla

                                            Mix all ingredients, pour into a greased baking dish. Cover with following topping:

                                            1 c. brown sugar
                                            1/3 c. flour
                                            1 c. chopped nuts
                                            1/3 stick melted butter

                                            Mix and sprinkle on souffle. Bake 45 min. - 1 hour at 350 degrees.


                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: mtleahy

                                              I forgot to be more specific on the nuts - Chopped Pecans work best!

                                              1. re: mtleahy

                                                That's very similar to the recipe I use: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo.... I had sworn sweet potato haters at dinner who were converted like Constantine. In hoc tuber vinces.

                                              2. How about a Sweet Potato Crisp?

                                                1 8 oz. pkg. Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
                                                1 40 oz. can cut sweet potatoes, drained
                                                3/4 C. firmly packed brown sugar, divided
                                                1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
                                                1 C. chopped apples
                                                2/3 C. chopped cranberries
                                                1/2 C. flour
                                                1/2 C. old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats, uncooked
                                                1/3 C. cold butter or margarine
                                                1/4 C. chopped Planters Pecans

                                                Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cream cheese, sweet potatoes, 1/4 C. of the sugar and cinnamon with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Spoon into 1 1/2-quart casserole dish; top with apples and cranberries. Mix flour, oats and remaining 1/2 C. sugar in medium bowl; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle over fruit mixture. Bake 35-40 minutes or until heated through.

                                                1. I came up with this by accident, but I love it.

                                                  Sweet potato-mushroom crumble:

                                                  Sauté garlic and onions in a skillet until translucent. Add diced sweet potatoes (about one per person, doesn't have to be nicely chopped) and sauté until starting to soften and brown but not cooked through.

                                                  Set aside. In another skillet (or the same one wiped clean), sautée fresh or reconstituted wild mushrooms, as many as you can afford, within reason. Add salt, rosemary and sage. Cook until mushrooms release their liquid. Remove from heat; mix with sweet potatoes and pour into an oiled baking dish. (Or you can make two distinct layers if it's easier.)

                                                  In a bowl, combine rolled oats, whole-wheat or chickpea flour, and a tbsp or two each cornmeal and wheat germ. Stir in chopped nuts - I like hazelnuts with this, but anything works. Pour in a few glugs of good olive oil, enough to wet the flour mix. Stir lightly until loose clumps form; spread on top of the potato mix.

                                                  Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or so, until the potatoes are cooked and the topping is crispy.

                                                  1. I adapted this from Suzanne Goin's recipe for sweet potatoes with bacon and spinach in "Sunday Suppers at Lucques" - they come out super-caramelized - the sweetness is rounded out by the herbs and heat from the cayenne.

                                                    4 lbs sweet potatoes, Jewel or Garnet
                                                    1/3 c brown sugar (I use turbinado)
                                                    2 sticks unsalted butter (I find one stick to be plenty)
                                                    1 Tbsp sliced sage leaves
                                                    2 tsp thyme leaves
                                                    (I added 2 Tbsp rosemary and a healthy shake of cayenne pepper)
                                                    Kosher salt
                                                    (I leave out the bacon and the spinach)

                                                    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
                                                    Peel sweet potatoes, cut into 1.5" cubes, toss with sugar.
                                                    Brown butter, let cool a few minutes, then drop in herbs and cayenne pepper. Pour over sweet potatoes. Season with salt
                                                    Roast 50 minutes to an hour until potatoes are caramelized and tender.

                                                    1. We just bake sweet potatoes. That's it. No added ingredients, they don't need them. I like 'em 'overcooked' so they are all gooey, but however you like them, they can't be beat.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Steve

                                                        Steve is exactly right. A good orange sweet potato can't be improved any more than a simple roasting. Cook until very tender and it must bring out the natural sugars. You would find marshmallows or brown sugar superfluous. Here is a variation I came upon by accident: SMOKED SWEET POTATOES...Once when I was roasting/smoking a turkey in my Weber, I added some washed but not peeled sweet potatoes around the side of the grill. Let them cook until the skin separated from the meat of the potato. They were out of this world. The subtle hickory smoke flavor added a nice touch to the potatoes. Now, anytime I smoke a piece of meat, such a pork loin, etc. I always add sweet potatoes to the grill. Enjoy!!

                                                      2. A savory sweet potato gratin is a holiday favorite with my family. I make a bechamel, which I always start with a small amount of mirepoix vegetables and a bit of proscuitto or pancetta. (The bits get strained out in the end.) Finish with a grate of fresh nutmeg and salt & pepper to taste. Put a thin film of bechamel in the bottom of a baking dish, then very thinly sliced sweet potatoes, and a dusting of parmigiano. Repeat the layers until all is used up, ending with bechamel and parm dusting. Bake at around 350 for maybe 40 minutes...up to an hour if I've made a deeper gratin, which I sometimes do. Reheats well, as we always enjoy the leftovers.

                                                        I'm also a fan of Harry Harry's roasted sweet potatotes with chipotles. One of my favorite dinners, when I don't feel like a big production.

                                                        1. I'm including specific results in the recipe below; however, consider these quantities to be suggestions. I've been making this recipe for so long, I can tell you that the recipe is wonderfully forgiving and that the quantities are essentially suggestions. The inherent sweetness of the sweet potato and the fruit and fruit juice eliminate the need for any sugar. I never sprinkle on the optional brown sugar topping.

                                                          butter to prepare baking casserole
                                                          5 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
                                                          enough sweet potatoes to yield 3 cups mashed (approximately 3-4)
                                                          1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated orange rind
                                                          1/2 cup orange juice
                                                          1 1/2 cups crushed pineapple packed in its own juice, drained
                                                          1 teaspoon salt

                                                          Topping: brown sugar (optional)

                                                          Roast sweet potatoes at 350 degrees until they yield to gentle pressure. Scoop out the sweet potato flesh and mash well.

                                                          During the roasting, prepare baking pan by buttering the sides well.

                                                          Whip butter into mashed sweet potatoes. Add orange rind, orange juice, pineapple, and salt. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.

                                                          If desired, sprinkle with brown sugar.

                                                          Bake covered in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.

                                                          Note: I've never once made this dish and immediately put it into the oven for its finishing bake before serving. I would not recommend fully making the casserole and reheating it before serving. The edges dry out too much that way. Simply assemble the casserole and in advance, refrigerate until needed and cook once. If beginning with chilled ingredients -- especially if doubling quantities for big family meals -- assume you'll need to increase the cooking time.

                                                          1. This is the dish I make every year at home and for the office potluck and always get RAVE reviews.

                                                            1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
                                                            1 cup finely chopped pecans
                                                            1 stick chilled butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

                                                            5 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
                                                            4 large eggs
                                                            2 Tablespoons brown sugar
                                                            1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
                                                            1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
                                                            1 teaspoon salt
                                                            1 teaspoon cinnamon
                                                            2 Tablespoons flour

                                                            Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix sugar, pecans and butter in small bowl. Cover and chill until ready to use.
                                                            Butter 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Cook sweet potatoes in large pot of boiling water until very tender, about 12 minutes. Drain. Let stand in colander 15 minutes. Put drained sweet potatoes in a large bowl and beat with mixer until smooth.
                                                            Lightly beat eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt in medium bowl. Add egg mixture to the mashed sweet potatoes and beat until combined. Add flour and cinnamon to sweet potatoes and mix thoroughly. Transfer half of sweet potato mixture to prepared dish. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of pecan topping mixture. Add remaining sweet potato mixture and smooth top. Sprinkle evenly with remaining pecan topping.
                                                            Bake until sweet potato mixture is set and topping bubbles, about 50 - 60 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes and serve.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: GSDlove

                                                              Sliced peeled sweet potatoes roasted with peeled sliced apples, butter, brown sugar and if you want to throw in a little bourbon, go for it. So simple but I always get raves.