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Nov 26, 2008 05:38 AM

Cooking sweet potatoes

I'm perplexed. I've seen a lot of recipes for sweet potatoe souffle. They all call for various amounts of mashed or whipped sweet potatoes which means they are already cooked. But they don't specify exactly how they reach that condition. So how do you cook them? Do you oven roast them and then scoop out the shells? Do you peel them first? Do you boil them, peeled like regular potatoes? What say you Chowhounds?

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  1. Don't peel first. Bake or microwave.

    1. Easiest way is peel them and microwave in a covered container. They'll basically steam, and you don't have to worry about them getting waterlogged.

      1. Scrub, poke and bake just like a regular baking potato, then peel afterwards. I like this method better than steaming as it brings out the natural sweetness of the potatoes so much more. Plus they get little brown caramelized spots that are like delicious bits of jesus food.

        7 Replies
        1. re: jencounter

          That certainly works too. Steaming is not nearly as bad as boiling, though. And microwave "steaming" doesn't involve added water.

          I agree that getting the caramelization is important. I get this simply by cooking it to death once mashed and in the casserole.

          1. re: sbp

            SBP: truth be told, I kind of hate the microwave so I rarely think to use it for things like this.

            In terms of speed and ease, it's definitely a better choice. I just prefer to use the oven.

          2. re: jencounter

            "Plus they get little brown caramelized spots that are like delicious bits of jesus food."

            Oh my god. I laughed so hard at this I almost fainted. But it's so true. You simply must bake sweet potatoes to get those little bits of jesus food.

            1. re: uptown jimmy

              I love the jesus food. Bacon, for instance, is totally jesus food.

              1. re: jencounter

                i may not be religious, but i LMAO at that term. love it :)

                and i'm with you on the sweet potatoes, jencounter...what you may save in time by using the MW, you sacrifice in flavor.

                1. re: jencounter

                  Bacon. Mmmmm. Definitely jesus food.

                  I love the jesus food.

              2. re: jencounter

                I just saw this on a cooking show and it works great. I just did it--500 degrees for an hour. It seemed way too hot for too long but they're perfectly caramelized in spots, skin is crispy and comes right off.

              3. I pick out the thinnest potatoes. I wash them off and wrap them in foil or parchment paper. Then, I put them in the oven at about 350 to 375 degrees. I pull them out when a fork goes through easily. They are so good and carmelized that way, I don't do anything else to them except eat them. I even do that as a snack.

                1. I just steamed mine since I saw Alton Brown do it. They were super easy to mash. On his show he said something about the sweet potatoes sucking up moisture while boiling nad getting soggy...

                  At least, I think thats what he said! I just tried my casserole and OMG i want to eat it now! :) :)