So last week, my plan for dinner each night involved a baked sweet potato, a reasonable side dish for early March. I grocery shopped accordingly”¦and then checked the weather. Between the near 80-degree temperatures, and my apartment building’s refusal to turn on the air conditioning before April 15, no way was I about to keep the oven on for the 45 minutes necessary to bake a sweet potato. So instead, I came up with a stovetop preparation ““ mashed sweet potatoes, yes, but NOT the super-sweet casserole sort of mashed sweet potato with marshmallows on top (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I wanted something spicy. If you are similarly interested, here is what to do!
Put a big pot of water on to boil, and then peel four sweet potatoes, and cut them into chunks ““ eighths, perhaps? Just cut them up so they’re sort of the same size. Once your water’s boiled, GENTLY put the potatoes in (do not splash yourself with boiling water, please) and put a cover on the pot, leaving it cracked so things don’t boil over. Do something else for fifteen minutes or so, and then start checking your potatoes. Once a fork goes through them easily, they’re done. Pour them out into a colander, and then put them back in the pot from which they came. Turn the heat back on to low, and add a half-stick of butter, a tablespoon of sriracha, a teaspoon of cumin, and salt and pepper to taste (I’d start off with a teaspoon or so of each). If you happened to have some heavy cream in the fridge that was going to go bad in a few days, might as well throw a splash of that in as well. My sweet potatoes were enormous, so if you’ve got smaller ones, it’s not a bad idea to start off lighter on the spices and add more to taste.
If you’ve got an immersion blender, I’m jealous. You should use it to mash these sweet potatoes. Hell, if you’ve got a hand mixer at this point, I’m jealous. Me, I mashed by hand, with a potato masher. Getting all the lumps out was damn near impossible, but that’s okay, because life is lumpy sometimes. Also, I have heard that hand mashing does something good for the starches.
And that’s it! I got about six servings out of this ““ ate four, froze two, but then again, I had gigantic sweet potatoes, so your mileage may vary.
Also, if you feel like being a bit decadent, feel free to sprinkle a bit of blue cheese on top, which takes this to an entirely different level of ridiculously awesome. It’s a little bit of a flavor overload, but it’s also damn delicious. Enjoy!