Hi everyone! It is nice to be back home from all my food adventures, but I am missing my new friends.
When you write a blog, you write in a void, hoping people discover your site and like what you write. When I go to food conferences and on blogging trips I get to recharge my batteries, connect with others who share my passion for food, and make friends who feed my soul.
Coming back from a series of events is a little like reentry from space. While there we live in the moment, focused entirely on the training, food, and people. Now it is time to get back to our regular lives, pay the bills, juggle the budget, try to figure out SEO and monetization of the blog, and figure out which recipes to make that will capture your attention and garner comments.
Today is the next installment of Food Network’s Sensational Sides, the current focus of our weekly series on fresh ingredients. Today we are sharing our favorite mashed recipes. I chose sweet potatoes seasoned with some different and interesting herbs and spices. Remember, sweet potatoes are good all year long, not just for Thanksgiving!
I am always fascinated that, with nothing more than a vague topic, this group of bloggers comes up with an amazing array of recipes. What an incredibly talented group they are. Make certain you check out the other recipes in today’s collection listed at the bottom of the post. Follow tweets at #SensationalSides and don’t miss the Pinterest page to see all the tempting recipes and photos!
Even though it already feels like summer here in California, most of the country is still locked in the cold grip of late winter/early spring and roasting root vegetables is the perfect way to make warming comfort foods. Roasting brings out product’s deep flavors, caramelizes the sugars and enhances just about anything. Use this technique with any root vegetables and discover how great everything tastes!
Enjoy the depth of flavor in this side dish. The roasting brings out the sweetness of the potatoes and onions, making them even better when combined than each is on their own. If you wanted you could add carrots, parsnips, and other root vegetables to your roasting pan and smash them all together for a different combination of flavors and even healthier nutrients.
I will be serving these whipped sweet potatoes tomorrow night with grilled flank steak. A beautiful and healthy side dish that is perfect any time of the year!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
There are two ways to bake or roast sweet potatoes. You can leave them in their jackets (unskinned) or peel them first. I prefer to peel them first when I am seasoning them like today’s recipe. I think they absorb more of the flavors that way, but you can do it either way you prefer.
The only thing you need to watch out for in this recipe are the herbs and spices that you use. Most are naturally gluten-free, but may be processed in plants that also contain gluten ingredients. If you have severe Celiac disease, you will need to buy your seasonings from reputable GF sources. McCormick and Penzey’s are two companies that sell mostly gluten-free herbs and spices, but always check the labels and contact the company directly if you have any concerns.
- 2 extra large red-skinned sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 to 2-inch cubes
- 1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 to 3 tbsp organic olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp dried thyme leaves or 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 tsp onion powder, optional
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp butter, optional
- Set a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425°F.
- Place prepared sweet potatoes in an ovenproof baking or roasting pan. Distribute the chopped onions over the top. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle the top with ginger, cardamom, thyme, onion powder (if using), and lemon zest. Stir together to distribute seasonings.
- Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss vegetables, return to oven and continue roasting for an additional 20 minutes or until completely softened.
- Remove from the oven and stir in the butter, if desired. (It smooths the flavors and helps improve the mouthfeel of the potatoes.) Transfer to a food processor or the bowl of your standing mixer and beat until smooth. Using a food processor will give you the creamiest and smoothest texture. Beating them in a stand mixer will leave them more rustic. Use whichever method you prefer.
- Transfer to a warmed bowl and serve immediately or cover and refrigerate. Reheat before serving.
Make sure you check out all of these amazing recipes from the other Food Network Bloggers participating this week in Sensational Sides:
Weelicious: Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Creamy Garlic Mashed Cauliflower and Potatoes
Cooking With Elise: Savory Banana Corn Cakes
Virtually Homemade: Three-Onion Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Mashed English Pea Spread on Garlic-Rubbed Bruschetta With Roasted Salmon
Red or Green? Smashed Potato Tacos With Guacamole & Tomato Salsa
Devour: Easy Mashed Plantains Recipe
Domesticate Me: Mashed Sweet Potatoes With Goat Cheese
The Sensitive Epicure: Italian Style Smashed Potatoes
Dishin & Dishes: Truffled Mashed Potatoes With Prosciutto and Rosemary
FN Dish: Mashed Spring Sides
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