Friday, November 13, 2009

Mashed and Baked Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup and Walnuts

I was a captive audience for one of Bobby Flay's show yesterday and it occurred to me that for someone I usually don't watch, me and Bobby sure like to use a lot of the same things. Every time I catch him he's making something with limes, green onions, fresh herb vinaigrettes, hot peppers and sweet potatoes. I'm always cooking with those things too. So last night, in honor of Bobby Flay, I cooked some sweet potatoes to go along with the pork steaks I was grilling. (Okay, I really didn't cook anything in honor of BF, but I needed to go somewhere with that story.)

Anyway, I took one sweet potato, peeled it and cut it into 1 1/2 inch pieces.

I steamed the potatoes for about 15 minutes (until they were tender.)

While they were steaming, I buttered an oven-proof dish and assembled the rest of my ingredients which included...

...maple syrup. Allow me a moment to say that if you maple syrup comes in a plastic jug with a handle on it, you are buying the wrong stuff. We are lucky here in Missouri that we have some locals who boil down the real deal. I've found this stuff at Farmers Markets in Fredericktown and in Soulard. Its about $6 a jar. Which is WAY cheaper than the little tins of real Vermont maple syrup in the grocery stores. Its fantastic and not loaded up with things that don't occur in nature.

When the potatoes are tender, dump the water from the bottom of the steamer, put the potatoes in that pan, and return them to the burner to dry them up a bit. When they have dried, remove them from the heat and add about 3 tablespoons of butter, salt & pepper, some red pepper flakes, and a little bit of maple syrup.

Mash em up.

Place them in the buttered dish and top with some walnuts. (Honestly, I should have toasted the walnuts, but didn't.) Put a little more butter on the top.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes. (I think I just did this to keep the stuff warm while I finished the rest of dinner. Had everything else been ready, and had I toasted the walnuts, I would have skipped this step.)

With the syrup and the walnuts, these were very treat like.

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