Friday, November 23, 2007

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Our Thanksgiving Menu
(Gourd candles inspired by Susan, the food blogga)

Vegetable Puffs with Cranberry-Date Chutney (recipe coming soon)
Olive Crostini
Spicy Cauliflower Soup (recipe coming soon)
Garlic-Scented Mashed Sweet Potatoes (recipe below)
Wild Mushroom Lasagna
Chocolate Pecan Pie

***** ***** *****

I'm looking for excuses to make sweet potatoes any old day of the year, and of course this gorgeous vegetable had to be on the menu today! Originally, I planned on making simple roasted sweet potatoes with a savory spice rub. At pretty much the last minute (the morning of), I realized that I had too many dishes that were competing for space in the oven/broiler, and frantically searched for a simple stove-top sweet potato recipe that called for ingredients that I had on hand. The one that I found wowed me at first glance- it does NOT call for butter or cream (one glance at that menu, and it is clear why there was no need for any more butter), and instead uses an unusual ingredient-a little coconut milk- to make creamy mashed sweet potatoes that are elevated to deliciousness with a little garlic. The source of the recipe says it all- it comes from the folks at Cook's Illustrated, and I got the recipe from the NPR site (scroll down to the middle of the page and look at the second variation on the mashed sweet potato recipe). This recipe is divinely vegan as well.

Garlic-Scented Mashed Sweet Potatoes

(adapted from this Cook's Illustrated recipe)
1. I started with washing and peeling 6 small-medium sized sweet potatoes (probably between 2-3 lbs in total weight). Then I cut the sweet potatoes into chunks and placed them in a saucepan.
2. To the sweet potatoes, I added 2/3 cup coconut milk (from a well-shaken can), salt and pepper, 2 cloves finely minced garlic and a hefty pinch of red pepper flakes (I skipped the sugar).
3. I covered the pan and cooked everything over low heat, stirring every few minutes, until the sweet potatoes were fork tender, then used a hand-held masher to puree the sweet potatoes gently.

These simply-prepared sweet potatoes were a treat! I could make this dish a few hours earlier and reheat it easily in the microwave (adding a little water) just before serving.

Other sweet potato recipes on my to-try list:
1. Chipotle Sweet Potatoes
2. Spinach Sweet Potato Cake
3. Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Do you have a favorite sweet potato recipe to recommend? Leave me a comment, thank you!

***** ***** *****

As I prepared the Thanksgiving meal, I realized that my kitchen is a rare and magical place. In most of the world, cooking starts with walking miles for water, gathering firewood, painstakingly lighting a smoky fire. In my magical kitchen, I turn on the faucet and gallons of water comes gushing out in an endless stream. I flick my wrist to heat a huge oven, or conjure a bright blue flame out of thin air. I throw open one door, and see boxes of grains, tubs of beans, rows of spices. I fling open another door, and cool air blasts out and reveals bins of fresh fruits and vegetables. I tap a finger, and brights lights turn on, allowing me to cook any time of day or night. For this abundance, and this privilege, and for my miraculous kitchen- I am utterly grateful.


  1. happy thanksgiving to yuo, v and dale. here are our fav two ways to cook sweet potatoes:

  2. That was a great feast Nupur!! Loved the candles.. looked so cute on the gourds....Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

  3. Lovely looking candles Nupur. and the mashed potatoes look so yumm!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    ~ Siri

  4. I, too, am grateful for the magical place thatis your kitchen! For it brings a lot of cheer to our own kitchens and smiles galore to those seated at our dining tables. Thank you, Nupur!

  5. Happy thanksgiving to you & your family. The candles looks so gorgeous & I have never had mashed sweet potatoes, but yours looks really delightful

  6. Lovely! And I think Thanksgiving is all about richness - the bounty of the season - all that butter, cream (and for us meat eaters. chicken/turkey fat). So have a few lighter dishes is essential. I had the traditional favorites, plus a watercress/fennel/orange salad, which had just the right sharpness to cut the richness of the meal.

    As for sweet potatoes, I have been eating them every day. They are one of my favorite vegies. I have been using your/Kalyn's spice rub, and consuming them as "fries" that way, also making them into a kind of south Indian podimas type of dish (not very authentic, but tasty), and simply baking them and eating them with spiced butter. I prefer true sweet potatos to yams. What we call yams here in the US (unlike what Japan and India call yams), are sweeter and moister than sweet potatos, and I prefer the denser texture of sweet potatos. But yams or sweet potatos - they say Fall to me, and I love them!

  7. me too love those sweet potatoes and the best part is they taste as good just boiled with s/p :)
    this recipe sounds yum, will try :)
    will be posting a sweet potato recipe soon, i think u will like it!
    And yes, there's so much to be thankful about :)

  8. Your Thanksgiving menu looks wonderful, Nupur. Love the gourd lights, so festive! And the sweet potatoes look beautiful as well. Thanks too, for that excellent and timely reminder about just how lucky we are to have every convenience imaginable. Hope you had a lovely holiday :)

  9. That was a lovely feast, Nupur! Love this recipe-never tried garlic with sweet potatoes before. Must be yummy!

    And, yes, the kitchen is magical-and one of the lovely things in life to be thankful for :).


  10. Hope you and the hubby are having a good thanksgiving weekend.

  11. The gourds with tealights look very nice. Mashed sweet potatoes with coconut milk sounds really yummy.

  12. Beautiful recipe, and a beautiful post. We take so much for granted -- our functioning kitchens, the abundance of food we can cook in them -- and it's always good to take a moment at this time of year to remind ourselves to be thankful.

  13. Super candles....lovely food

  14. wow, looks lovely Nupur, nice color, and sweet potatoes are jsut so tasty by themselves I'm sure this would have been divine!

  15. Truly, there is so much to be grateful for - things that we take for granted...don't know how long that water is going to continue to gush from our faucets...
    But, for now, we can be thankful that it does.

  16. Bee, oh yeah, two absolutely drool-worthy ways of cooking sweet potatoes!

    Seema, yes, the candles were such a cute seasonal centerpiece. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

    Siri, Happy Thanksgiving :)

    Manisha, so other room in the house makes it a "home" the way the kitchen does!

    Shella, Happy thanksgiving! These mashed sweet p. are too easy to make, worth a try :)

    Diane, yes, I save my richest to-try dishes for this holiday! :) That salad sounds so refreshing...we had a cranberry-spinach salad with this meal which was delicious too (brought by a friend). I agree- the simple ways of preparing sweet potatoes are the most delicious!

    Richa, can't wait to see your recipe!

    Linda, yes, it was a non-traditional Thanksgiving menu, but one that we really enjoyed! Hope you are enjoying a restful and happy weekend!

    Musical, the garlic is subtle and tasty in this dish- I know you will like it :)

    Cynthia, oh yes, we are relaxing and lazing around for once :D

    Meera, thanks! Glad you like it!

    Lydia, yes, it would be a shame to take our abundance for granted. That is why I always celebrate this holiday- I want to acknowledge how lucky I am.

    Easycrafts, thank you :)

    Mansi, oh yes, this tasted creamy, savory and divine!

    Anita, yes, I often look around me and wonder how long all this will last...the way we waste water and other resources!

  17. And Onehotstove is a magical site!
    The gourd candles are a lovely idea. The sweet potatoes look delicious - so no water at all was used in cooking them??

  18. Nupur, I stumbled across your blog quite by accident (looking for a jalape�o popper recipe) and became intrigued. Then, when I saw that Manisha had posted here, I knew I was in a valuable place! I've subscribed to your Feedblitz burn, so now I'll have regular access to your posts. Fantastic!

  19. Looks like a grand menu, and your guests should be thankful for that!

  20. So pretty..we did something similar! Here's our fruity version.

  21. Happy Thanksgiving Nupur! The gourd candles look so pretty. I am really glad I found One Hot Stove and a wonderful friend who has inspired me to cook many new and different dishes. Thank you!!!

  22. nupur ooks so good and it is good for you too...u have tempted me to buy the sweet tatoes!!

  23. Kamini, :D thank you, dear Kamini! That's right- the sweet potatoes need no added water. They have a pretty high water content already, and along with the little coconut milk, that is sufficient to generate enough steam to cook them well.

    Musings AKA John, well, now I am very glad to have Manisha as a visitor as well :D Welcome to One Hot Stove!!

    evolvingtastes, the guests enjoyed everything, so I was happy :D

    Neha, oye, that fruity version would be way over the top for me :D

    Namita, What a touching thing to say. The fact that you visit often and leave encouraging comments in such a positive tone...I am equally thankful for that!

    Rajitha, go buy them :) I think you will enjoy this simple side dish!

  24. Happy Thanksgiving to you V and Dale, hope it was fun! We make the mashed sweet potatoes during winter. Somehow never tried it with garlic. Thanks for the recipe. :)

  25. how wonderful, Nupur! i love the way you ended the post - and am glad you said it while i was just thinking it!

    I have been experimenting with different items to form my own Thanksgiving meal - to pass on to Ana hopefully - and your recipes are quite an inspiration.

    now, sweet potatoes (asian ones at least) have a distinct texture and flavor but, since yams are used interchangeably with sweet potatoes here, I thought I'd leave you with one of my favorites:

  26. Hope you had a great thanks giving..:)
    Sweet potato scented with garlic is a twist to make use of sweet potatoes!!

  27. Sounds like you had a great T'Day! Yay! Those sweet potatoes look awesome, I *have* to try them out.

    Hope Dale loved the treats too :)


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