Monday, November 28, 2011

Sweet Potatoes with Ginger Maple Syrup

I love the spiciness of fresh ginger
I think I've finally recovered from Thanksgiving (unfortunately ending up with a migraine today).  It was such a fun week, with my sister and her husband coming into town for Thanksgiving with friends here in DC on Thursday, and then all of us traveling up for a Turkey Day encore with family in New Jersey on Friday. 2 in a row - Woof.  A lot of great food, drink, family, friends and festivity - I just love this Holiday.

Our friends Alex & Elisa hosted at their new home on Thursday, where I had my first rotisserie turkey, and it was amazing. Flavorful, moist and tender. I've got to get their secret for it. Friday I was able to try my Grandmother's recipe for dressing (excellently prepared by my Aunt Keri) for the first time - sagey, sausagey, and oh so good.  Definitely going to be adding that to the mix the next time I make the Thanksgiving spread.

I didn't do anything fancy for either meal - on Thursday I contributed some canapés (one of the recipes here), and made three different versions of potatoes - mashed potatoes, savory sweet potatoes, and sweet sweet potatoes.  On Friday, it was an apple tart and my favorite pumpkin pie (recipe here).

The sweet sweet potatoes (i.e. candied yams, etc.) are a staple at a lot of thanksgiving tables, but never at mine growing up - we're more of a savory family. So, I decided to take a whack at making these sweet and delicious, but with a little something different. Here's what I cam up with.

Maple Syrup at the source
  • 1 1/2 cups of pure Grade A Vermont maple syrup
  • 1 4 inch length of ginger, peeled and cut into strips
  • 4-5 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 stick of butter, melted
  • Brown sugar
  • S&P
  • Candied pecans (my sister made these, so I'll have to get her recipe!)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

To start, prep the ginger, and put into a saucepan with the maple syrup. Turn the heat onto low and let the ginger steep in the syrup, stirring occasionally and making sure that it doesn't boil, approximately 15-20 minutes or until the syrup tastes nice and spicy

Meanwhile, prep the potatoes, and place into a large bowl.  When the syrup is ready, remove the ginger and discard, and pour it over the potatoes along with the melted butter.  Sprinkle with the cinnamon, S&P and toss to coat.  Pour into a buttered glass baking dish, large enough so that the potatoes aren't stacked too high.

Sprinkle with a little bit of brown sugar, and then bake until the potatoes are fork tender, and the sauce is beginning to caramelize. I can't remember how long this actually took - I'd start the timer at 15 minutes, and check every 5 minutes after that until done.

Serve with a sprinkle of chopped candied pecans on top.  Next time I make these, I'll probably get some of that yummy crystalized ginger, and sprinkle that on top too, to really kick up the ginger-ness of the dish. 

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