HONEY ROASTED MASHED OPELOUSAS SWEET POTATOES
Makes about 8 side orders.
Commander’s Palace in New Orleans
Roasting sweet potatoes (or yams) makes their flavor more intense, whereas boiling (as is so often done) extracts much of the earthy sweet flavor into the water. Opelousas Sweet Potatoes are our favorite and they are too good to be boiled. We make sweet potato pie, sweet potato hay, and sweet potato succotash – but my personal favorite is this one roasted with honey and butter and whipped.
• 6 sweet potatoes, about one pound
• 1 stick butter, diced
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1 cup honey
• Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Peel and quarter potatoes.
Place neatly in a roasting pan.
Place butter evenly on top of potatoes.
Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg on top.
Drizzle with honey and season with salt and pepper.
Gently pour 2 cups water into pan without washing mixture off potatoes.
Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours or until very tender.
Remove cover and stir.
Continue to cook for 1/2 hour.
Potatoes should have a nice dark brown color on top and be very tender.
Remove potatoes with slotted spoon and add to mixing bowl and whip until all lumps are gone.
Drizzle in liquid from pan as desired.
Turn off mixer and scrape bowl.
Continue to mix, I usually use all my liquid because it’s needed and has a lot of flavor.
When desired consistency is there, adjust seasoning.
Place in a large casserole dish and serve.
I like the dark orange sweet potatoes; not the thin skinned pale ones. The darker skin potato is sweeter and has deep orange flesh, while the pale is starchy. Buy the medium to large size, about 1 pound, they seem to be best. The sweetest ones seem to be in mid fall to late winter. Keep in dry, dark, cool area. If wanted, you can add more butter and honey. This dish can be made up to 3 days in advance, but keep covered in refrigerator.
Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry - www.sweetpotato.org