Thanksgiving Files: Sweet Potatoes

I have a confession. I hate traditional Thanksgiving  candied sweet potatoes. I can’t pass them fast enough away from me at the holiday table. I thought I hated sweet potatoes because I assumed that they always tasted that sweet and gooey. Then I stumbled across a few savory sweet potato recipes that really let the flavor of the potato shine and my opinion quickly changed.

So in honor of the poor sweet potato covered in marshmallow goo (and I mean no offense anyone who looks forward to candied sweet potatoes every year!) I offer two savory recipes and one semi-sweet recipe. In case you want to try something a little different this Thanksgiving.

Each serves 4, but you can easily multiple the ingredients for your crowd.

African Sweet Potato Salad

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes – precooked*
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 1 stalk celery chopped

Large glass or plastic bowl

Slip skins off potatoes and cube. In bowl mix oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper, add potatoes, onion, celery and toss. Refrigerate until serving.

You’ll want to steam these, you can halve them and leave the skins on, they’ll slip off when cooled. You don’t want to boil sweet potatoes, it leaves them watery and they lose their creamy texture.

Cajun Sweet Potatoes

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup butter,  melted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • ¼ tsp cumin (opt)

Covered casserole dish, well-greased

Steamer and saucepan

In saucepan, add water, steamer and sweet potatoes. Steam until you can easily stick a fork in them. They don’t need to be completely soft. About 10-15 minutes. Add sweet potatoes to casserole dish. Combine oil, butter and spices. Pour evenly over potatoes. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes until potatoes are soft. You can adjust cooking time if you prefer your firmer or softer potatoes.

Sweet Potatoes w/Apples

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 apples, cored & sliced
  • 8 oz can sliced pineapple (including liquid)
  • 2 tsp butter
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt

2 qt casserole dish, greased

Add ingredients to casserole dish. Stir gently and bake at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes, uncovered, until apples and potatoes are very soft. Cover if it begins to brown too much.

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