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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Maple-Orange Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Orange Butter

Maple-Orange Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Orange Butter
It's hard for me to believe that there was a time when I didn't like sweet potatoes. Much like cranberry sauce, I only saw them once a year—on the Thanksgiving table. As was the fashion, they smooshed up in a casserole dish and topped with marshmallows. I think there was also brown sugar or something added to the sweet potatoes themselves. Bleck! They were so ridiculously sweet that I just couldn't stomach them.

I'd always give them a little nibble...because I really wanted to like them. So until I was in my 20's, I thought that I didn't like sweet potatoes. Turns out, I just didn't like that sweet potato casserole. One day, while planning what I wanted to contribute to Thanksgiving dinner that year (pretty much everything), I found a recipe in a magazine that used half sweet potatoes and half white potatoes. I can't remember which magazine it was, but that recipe changed my life.
Maple-Orange Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Orange Butter
When I slid that first tentative spoonful into my mouth, I realized that I actually did like sweet potatoes. As a matter of fact, I kind of loved them. This was that recipe, only slightly changed over the many years since. I use a mix of sweet potatoes and Yukon Golds instead of Russets now and changed the seasoning a bit, but it was near perfect as written.

And guess what? I don't even mind sticking a few marshmallows on top anymore since the potatoes themselves aren't sickly sweet. Don't even get me started on the first time I made (and tasted) a roasted sweet potato...

Speaking of roasted sweet potatoes, next on my list to try are these Melting Sweet Potatoes. Heck, maybe I'll just make it a sweet potato buffet by adding these Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Bananas with Pecan Streusel, these Mexican Candied Sweet Potatoes, these Brown Butter Garam Masala Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and these Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries to the menu!

Maple-Orange Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Orange Butter
This is the dish that will turn sweet potato haters into sweet potato lovers!
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Maple-Orange Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Orange Butter
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Keywords: side vegetarian sweet potatoes maple syrup orange Thanksgiving American fall

Ingredients (serves 12)
    for the orange butter:
    • 2 ounces (1/4 cup / 4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at soft room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
    • big pinch of fine sea salt
    for the maple-orange sweet potatoes:
    • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
    • 1 1/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 2-inch chunks (peel if you wish)
    • 2 ounces (1/4 cup / 4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at soft room temperature
    • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
    make the orange butter:
    Stir the butter, orange zest, and salt together until thoroughly combined. Put into a small dish or a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper and roll into a log; refrigerate.

    Bring to room temperature before using. Can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for a few days, or freeze for longer.

    make the mashers:
    Combine both types of potatoes in a large pot and cover with water by an inch. Bring to a boil and cook until they are just tender, 12-15 minutes; drain. Return them to the same pot set over low heat until the potatoes are dry, about 5 minutes.

    Mash the potatoes until they are slightly chunky—you can do this by hand with a potato masher or you can use a hand-mixer. Add the butter, orange juice, maple syrup, salt and pepper to the pot, mashing and mixing until combined.

    Serve potatoes warm, each serving topped with a pat of the orange butter.
    Maple-Orange Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Orange Butter