Posts Tagged ‘Sweet potato’

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet po...

This is actually a YAM and not a Sweet Potato

I said I wasn’t going to post another recipe today because I am supposed to be preparing my own culinary contributions to the Thanksgiving Day dinner and so I’m not.  However, I just noticed in the New York Times that Mark Bittman wrote an article extolling the virtues of sweet potatoes.  In my 9 days till Thanksgiving recipe posting, I included two recipes for sweet potatoes.  His article is listed below.  Sweet potatoes-Thanksgiving and beyond!


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Cucurbita moschata 'Butternut'. Original descr...

Butternut Squash

Some where between Sweet Potatoes  and White Potatoes lie the winter squashes and many people prefer squash dishes on their Thanksgiving Day menu.  There are numerous varieties to choose from:  I like Butternut Squash, Acorn Squash and Hubbard Squash.  I have served Butternut Squash Bisque as a first course at a few Thanksgiving Dinners.  You might enjoy including this tasty side dish this year at your annual Turkey Day feast.


1 # delicata or butternut squash

2TBS butter

3 TBS finely chopped rosemary

3 cups unfiltered apple or pear cider


1 tsp balsamic or apple cider vinegar to taste

Freshly ground pepper

You could peel the squash, halve in lengthwise and slice into half moons OR you could buy butternut squash already peeled and cubed and if you’re like me, there is s a point where my time is worth more than the extra 50 cents  spent in taking the easy way out!!

Melt butter in a 12″ skillet over low heat until foamy.  Add rosemary, and cook over medium heat to flavor butter, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes.  Add squash, cider, and 1 tsp salt.  If squash is not covered by cider, add water to cover.

Bring to a simmer, and cook until squash is tender and cider has reduced to a glaze, stirring frequently, 30 to 40.  Sprinkle with vinegar and season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to warm serving bowl and serve immediately.

Serves: 6-8 – recipe courtesy of New York Times (November 19, 2003

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Sweet potatoes Ελληνικά: Γλυκοπατάτες

Sweet potatoes Ελληνικά: Γλυκοπατάτες (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well it’s a week away and I still don’t know what I’m bringing as an hors d’ouevres since that is my assignment for Thanksgiving dinner.  This year we will be sharing the annual feast  with my daughter’s in-laws and other relatives of her husband.  It’s seems like there will be  a lot of famiglia!

But I digress, this post is about delicious and not quite ordinary side dishes.  I really wish I was supposed to bring one of them instead because most appetizers don’t travel well and it’s a 2 1/2 hour trip!

Since oven space is always at a premium Thanksgiving Day, you can make this dish ahead of time and reheat covered in microwave at dinner time.  


Preheat oven 450 degrees

1 TBS plus 1 tsp coarse salt

6 sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered lengthwise

6 TBS honey

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1 small fresh red chile pepper, thinly sliced

2 TBS unsalted butter, melted

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

2 TBS fresh cilantro leaves

Bring a large sauce-pot of water to a boil, add 1 TBS salt.  Add sweet potatoes and boil 4 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  

In a bowl combien honey, lime juice, chile, butter and remaining teaspoon of salt and the pepper.  Add the sweet potatoes and coat with the marinade.  Put potatoes and any excess marinade in a 17″x12″ roasting pan.  Roast in oven 20-30 minutes, turning occasionally, till tender and caramelized.  Garnish with cilantro. 

Serves: 6-8  – Recipe from Martha Stewart Living


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A sweet potato.

Image via Wikipedia


Last week in the New York Times, there was an article heralding the merits of Sweet Potatoes and their rise in culinary popularity.  Lighter in sugars than yams and with a bit of protein, they are now appearing on menus all around town; sweet potato fries, baked sweet potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes.  This recipe is is a favorite of mine and I think more suited to a Christmas dinner than Thanksgiving!  This could be the beginning of the  Count-Down to Christmas Dinner.

2 3/4 lb sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1″ cubes

8 TBS of Canola oil

3 garlic cloves minced

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp coarsely ground pepper

1 1/2 lb red onions (3 medium), halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4″ slices

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 TBS chopped fresh parsley

Set one rack in center and one on lowest position – preheat oven 375 degrees.

Line 2 large baking sheets with foil.  Place sweet potatoes on one; drizzle with 6 TBS of oil.  Sprinkle with garlic, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper – toss to coat, then spread in a single layer.

Place onions on second baking sheet, drizzle with 2 remaining TBS oil, sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper, toss to coat.  Spread in single layer.

Place sheet with potatoes on center rack and sheet with onions on lower rack in oven. Roast until potatoes are tender and onions are tender and brown around the edges, stirring every 10 minutes, about 30 minutes total for potatoes and 35 for onions.

Can be prepared 4 hours ahead of time, let stand at room temperature, covered loosely with foil.  Rewarm in 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes.

Combine potatoes and onions in shallow bowl. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and rosemary and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

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Traditional Thanksgiving meal in New England

Image via Wikipedia

It’s time to get you guys more involved in what goes on here…I mean it’s hard sometimes for me to come up with the whole post, it’s holiday time, I have to plan, shop and cook, I have a job and that means I have to be at the office and also out showing apartments…and I’ve been babysitting Finley a lot lately because Mommy and Daddy are running around Manhattan checking out schools and getting checked out themselves.  Soooo now you see why I need to you to participate, contribute and literally help me out.

I’m going to start this off but I’m warning you I don’t think I’ve had too many NON-TRADITIONAL dishes at Thanksgiving over the years.  On the other hand since  I was born as a third generation American of Italian and German heritage, ethnicity did play a role in any holiday meal. Let me think….well when I was a little girl and we would go to my Grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving, what I remember was not eating any turkey. It’s not that there wasn’t a turkey, at least I think there was, but I don’t remember eating because by the time Grandma served it I was too full.  Why? Because Grandma always served Ravioli first!!! I don’t remember if there were Meatballs and Sausages too, but I wouldn’t be surprised!

Then when I used to spend Thanksgiving dinner with my first husband’s family, there were definitely some traditional to them – NON-TRADITIONAL dishes on that table.  There were a lot of things stuffed besides the turkey;  We had Stuffed Artichokes and Stuffed Mushrooms which were stuffed with basically the same bread stuffing that was in the bird!  Now I can see some of you trying to picture this because in your house the stuffing was probably made with cubes of crouton-like bread and how do you get a cube into an artichoke leaf?  Physics dictate you can’t and you can’t!  But my mother-in-law’s stuffing basically  consisted of grated Italian bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese and chicken broth.  She did add a small amount of sauteed onion and celery but not enough to alter the consistency of the dressing which was pretty much porridge-like – now you see how you could mush it into the artichokes and plop it on top of the mushrooms?

Then there were several years when I spent Thanksgiving with my Aunt Marian and my cousins in New Jersey.  Dinner was fairly traditional  in  that there were Mashed Potatoes, Candied Sweet Potatoes, Creamed Onions, Turnips…and Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage. My uncle was German and hence the cabbage.

Over the last several years I’ve kept a pretty traditional Thanksgiving table with tweaking the standards and adding other vegetable sides, keeping the desserts traditional-well traditional for my family anyway.  I’m saying that because as I’m typing I realize that I often make a Pumpkin Cheesecake as well as a Pumpkin Pie. That’s a tradition I kept from my mother-in-law and it is dee-lish-us!

And now it’s your turn.  Let’s hear what NON-TRADITIONAL dishes have become a tradition at your Thanksgiving Dinner table.  You can comment or feel free to email me at pbenjaytoo@gmail.com

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A sweet potato.

Image via Wikipedia


Everybody has sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving right? I guess it’s a given;  mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and  candied sweet potatoes. I just don’t love candied sweet potatoes because they are already sweet by themselves and when they’re drowned in maple syrup or brown sugar and butter, you have dessert.  You could put in a crust and you’d have sweet potato pie. AND other than jellied cranberry sauce from the can (yuk) they stick out like a sweet thumb in a fairly savory meal.  So rather than throw tradition out the window completely, I make a sweet potato side dish that is slightly sweet and light – Sweet Potato Puff.

1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 tsp salt and dash of pepper

4 cups mashed sweet potatoes (2 lb)

2 eggs separated – beat separately

Preheat oven 375 degrees

Mash potatoes with melted butter

Fold in egg yolks and egg whites (soft peaks).

Bake in greased casserole for about 30 minutes

Sprinkle top with cinnamon.

It’s quick, easy, and can be made earlier in the day and rewarmed.

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