Sunday, November 29, 2009
Dim Sum Sunday, Day 2, Turkey Day!
I must confess, I have never made an entire Thanksgiving dinner in my life. My mother always did it, then my mother-in-law if we went to Louisiana. If we stayed in town, we went to a friend's house. She took care of the turkey, stuffing, and gravy, and had the invitees attend to the various deserts and side dishes. I've always been tasked with bringing the sweet potatoes, either because few people like them (!!) or they are intimidated by the process of making them. Which is silly. Making a delicious, steaming pan of either roasted or souffled sweet potatoes is as easy as ordering out.
This year, we drove up north to my hometown to share Thanksgiving with my stepfather and his neighbors. And, yes, once again I brought sweet potatoes.
Here's how I've always made them:
Serves 10 people (1 large sweet potato will serve 2 people)
5 large sweet potatoes
Grated rind and juice of one medium orange
1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sour cream (yes, you can use low fat or even non-fat yogurt, but you're not saving yourself much calorie-wise here, so just go with it and worry later)
2 tablespoons bourbon (I always cook with Jim Beam)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Pre-heat oven to 400º F. Wash potatoes and stab with sharp paring knife a couple times on each side. Place in sturdy heat proof pan and roast in the oven 45 to 60 minutes, or until soft. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes. Cut in half and let cool completely.
Once potatoes have cooled, scrape out insides into a large bowl. Add all ingredients and whip up with a hand held blender until smooth and fluffy. Scape into 13x9 glass pan and refrigerate until ready to eat. Fifteen minutes before serving, reheat in a 350 degree oven, either plain, or with your choice of topping (I made a praline-like topping of pecans, brown sugar, flour, and butter; sometimes I'll add tiny marshmallows because my sweet tooth knows no bounds.)
In addition, you can make a more savory souffle by adding a cup of cubed smoked ham or bacon, a cup of diced green chile, and a cup of grated cheddar cheese.
As for the weather, we tend to have two kinds of Thanksgivings: those warm enough to sit outside and eat and those that dump a foot of snow. This is what we had this year: