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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Smashed Sweeties

There is something so comforting about the smell of chicken roasting in the oven! Usually when I roast a chicken, I serve it with the traditional side dishes: corn, mashed potatoes, gravy, and maybe a green bean casserole. Well, a few weeks ago I tried something different. I made a Herbs de Provence roast chicken and served it with mashed sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli. I've loved sweet potatoes since childhood and they will always hold a special place in my heart. I love when foods evoke memories! My grandmother has always made amazing candied sweet potatoes every Thanksgiving and my own family started making a sweet potato casserole that has become a Thanksgiving staple for many years as well. These mashed "sweeties" aren't overly sweet, and they are so creamy and delicious! This dish would make a great accompaniment to your Thanksgiving turkey or barbecued ribs or chicken any time of the year! So get smashin'!!!

Maple Pecan Mashed Sweet Potatoes


4 large sweet potatoes or yams
1/2 stick butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Sprinkle of ground nutmeg
1/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans
1/4 pure maple syrup
Dash of salt


1. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into large chunks. Boil in water over medium heat for about 25 minutes or until tender and breaking apart. Drain thoroughly. 
2. In a saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar,  cinnamon, and nutmeg. Heat over low heat until butter is melted and ingredients are combined. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. 
3. Mash sweet potatoes until creamy. Blend in butter mixture. Sprinkle with salt.

4. Combine chopped pecans and maple syrup in a pan. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to simmer. Drizzle over mashed sweet potatoes. 

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