The sweet potato, in my opinion, is a side dish that often gets overlooked. At least I know in my house we forget about them a lot and we really shouldn’t see it is considered a super food. To me it’s a great side and has a lot more flavor than your typical Russet potato or Yukon gold potato and I would rather have a sweet potato than either of those. Anyway, I had come across this recipe from Guy Fieri on the Food Network when I was looking for something different to do with a sweet potato for dinner and I saw this simple recipe for twice-baked sweet potatoes. I actually changed it a little bit by microwaving the potatoes for 12 minutes first instead of baking them in the oven for an hour to soften them up so they could be done faster, but you can use either method and still get quality results.
Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
4 medium-sized sweet potatoes
5 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 stick butter
Vegetable oil, for greasing the roasting tray
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly scrub the sweet potatoes under cold running water. Place the potatoes on a roasting tray and bake the potatoes until they are tender, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and allow the potatoes to cool slightly before cutting of the top third of the potato lengthwise. Scoop out the flesh using a large spoon and be sure to leave enough on the base so the skin will be able to hold its shape and reserve the bases.
Add the sweet potato flesh, 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar, the ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, cayenne pepper and the butter to a food processor. Process the mixture until the ingredients are completely combined and the puree is smooth. Season the potato mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle a roasting tray with a little bit of the vegetable oil. Set the potato skin bases upright on the tray and fill the bases with the sweet potato mixture.
Combine the remaining 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and the pecans, if using, in a small bowl. Sprinkle the top of each stuffed sweet potato with the sugar-pecan topping. Bake the potatoes for 10 minutes. Finish the potatoes under the broiler for the top to brown, about 1 minute, if desired.
As I had said, I scrubbed the potatoes and poked them with a fork and cooked them in the microwave for 12 minutes until they were tender so I could significantly cut back on the cooking time and I think they came out just fine. The flavors of the potato with the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg were great and although I omitted the pecans, I did drizzle a little bit of pure maple syrup on each one for some extra flavor. To me, it’s a great way to make an easy side dish to go with just about beef, pork or poultry dish that you want.
That’s all I have for today. Check back tomorrow for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!