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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Perfect Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes


We have a bit of a love affair with sweet potatoes in our house. We'll take them in almost any way shape or form. The twice baked sweet potato is a classic. I've found that you don't need much to dress up a good sweet potato. I don't overload it with butter because it has a creamy richness all on its own. Add in a little brown sugar, cinnamon and just a hint of nutmeg and you've got yourself a killer twice baked sweet potato that is full of flavor and feels indulgent while still leaning towards the healthy side. Win, win, right?

Now, it's time for a little cooking lesson.  In America the terms "Sweet Potato" and "Yam" are used interchangeably and refer to that potato looking thing with the red skin and orange flesh. Yet, you have probably seen something else in the grocery store labeled sweet potato with a light yellow skin, while your orange flesh variety is labeled yams. Guess what? Both of them are sweet potatoes! The kind of sweet potatoes you think of as yams are simply dark skinned sweet potatoes. You won't commonly come across true yams in an American grocery store. True yams have brown or black skin and the flesh is either red, purple, or off white. Crazy, huh? You thought you've been eating yams all these years! Now you can impress your family at the dinner table when someone inevitably says, "pass me some more yams, please!"


Hands On Time: <10 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield: 6 sweet potato boats


Ingredients

3 large sweet potatoes
3 TB butter
3 TB brown sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch nutmeg


Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Scrub the dirt off of each sweet potato and wrap it tightly in aluminum foil. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet to catch the juice that will inevitably leak out. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour until soft.

3. Carefully remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and unwrap. Slice them each in half length-wise. 

4. Scoop out the flesh of the sweet potatoes and place in a small mixing bowl, making sure to leave a layer against the skins so they still have some supporting structure. 

5. Add in the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the mixing bowl and use a hand mixer to whip the sweet potatoes until smooth.

6. Lay the 6 sweet potato skin boats on the lightly grease baking sheet. Scoop the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture back into each skin.

7. Bake again for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot. 

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