Smoky chipotle revs up this Thanksgiving favorite
Thanksgiving is coming soon here in the US. And that means sweet potatoes are on the menu.
Sweet potatoes are naturally, well, sweet. So let’s take those innocent little spuds for a walk on the wild side. Smoky, spicy chipotle chilies can teach them to sing – and dance on your tongue.
Best of all, there’s no need to confine this dish to the Thanksgiving table. It’s so tasty, we predict you’ll find yourself serving it all year round. Sweet.
Recipe: Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes
We use peeled, boiled sweet potatoes for this dish. But you can bake the sweet potatoes if you prefer. See Notes for instructions.
Prep time for this dish is about 5 minutes. Cooking adds another 5 to 10 minutes (depending on how you large you chunk up the sweet potatoes). Mashing takes a further 5 minutes.
This dish serves 4, but it’s easy to scale up if you’re feeding a crowd (see Notes).
Leftovers keep for a few days if refrigerated in an airtight container. Or you could fry the leftovers as potato pancakes the next morning. They’re wonderful served with crispy bacon and fried or poached eggs.
- ~2 pounds sweet potatoes (2 large ones)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt to season the cooking water (see Notes)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 whole chipotle pepper (or 2 if you like extra spicy; we use canned chipotles)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from the chipotle can
- salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon kosher salt for us; see Notes)
- garnish of parsley (optional)
- Fill a large (4-quart) cooking pot with water and place it over stovetop heat. Bring the water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, wash the sweet potatoes and peel them. Cut them into dice of about ½ inch (or a bit larger).
- When the water reaches the boiling point, add a tablespoon of salt to season it. Add the chopped sweet potatoes, then let the water return to a simmer (adjusting the stovetop heat if necessary). Cook until the sweet potatoes are tender (start testing after 4 minutes – though the sweet potatoes usually take at least 5 minutes to cook, and sometimes up to 10 minutes; they’re tender when a fork slides easily into the sweet potato cubes).
- Drain the sweet potatoes and return them to the cooking pot. Cover the pot and let the sweet potatoes sit for about 2 minutes. (This helps release any excess water they may have absorbed.)
- Mash the sweet potatoes: Pour them into a large bowl (we use a stand mixer for mashing, so we use the mixer bowl). Add the butter and begin mashing the sweet potatoes with the mixer’s flat beater (or, if preparing by hand, use a potato masher).
- When the sweet potatoes are about half mashed, dice a canned chipotle pepper (or two) and add it to the potatoes. Add a teaspoon or two of the adobo sauce the chilies are packed in.
- Continuing mashing. Just before the sweet potatoes are fully mashed, taste them and add salt to taste. Continue mashing until the sweet potatoes are soft and creamy.
- Serve and enjoy. We like to add a parsley sprig or a sprinkling of minced parsley for garnish.
- If you prefer to bake the sweet potatoes for this recipe, here’s how: Scrub the sweet potatoes and poke a few holes in each one with a fork. Bake the sweet potatoes at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes to an hour (until they’re soft). Let the sweet potatoes cool just enough so you can handle them. Then scrape the skin off the sweet potatoes and proceed with Step 5.
- You can also microwave the sweet potatoes for this recipe: Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into cubes of ½ inch or less. Place them in a covered, microwave-safe dish (we like to use Pyrex) and nuke for 5 minutes. Test the sweet potatoes for doneness. If they need more cooking time, stir the sweet potatoes and continue microwaving in 1-minute increments until they’re done.
- You can easily scale up this recipe to feed a larger crowd. We generally use 1 canned chipotle chile pepper and 4 tablespoons of butter for every 2 pounds of sweet potatoes. If you really like spicy, you can increase that to 2 chipotles.
- Add more butter if you want a richer dish.
- Add ½ cup of cream if you want softer mashed potatoes.
- We think sweet potatoes are plenty sweet as is. But if you want a sweeter dish, add a tablespoon or two of maple syrup or brown sugar to the dish (add this in Step 6.) Honey would work, too.
- Chipotles are smoke-dried jalapeño peppers. Their flavor is spicy, but not fiery. You can buy them dried, but we prefer to use the canned version.
- In the US, canned chipotle chilies tend to be sold in 7-ounce containers. The adobo sauce they’re packed in has a tangy vinegar flavor.
- What to do with the leftover chipotle peppers (you’ll be using only part of the can in this recipe)? We place the rest of them in a small airtight container and store them in the refrigerator until we have another use for them. They’ll keep for weeks. You can also freeze them.
- We use kosher salt for cooking and baking. Kosher salt is less salty by volume than regular table salt (its crystals are large and more coarse, so they don’t fill a measuring spoon as tightly). If you’re using regular table salt, use about half as much as we suggest. But, as always, adjust the seasoning to your taste.
- We don’t generally use black pepper in this dish. But feel free to add some if you’d like (when you taste for salt in Step 7).
“Love the chipotle in this dish,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Sweet deal.”
“This recipe is easy to make too,” I said. “Short and sweet.”
“Yup, it’s a monster mash,” said Mrs K R.
“I’m sweet on it myself,” I said.
“So I can sweet talk you into making this again?” said Mrs K R.
You bet your sweet patootie.
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