Although I may not be too familiar with potatoes in the kitchen, I am very familiar with sweet potatoes (not to be confused with sub-tropical yams). Not only are sweet potatoes delicious, they are very nutritious. Sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, beta carotene, vitamin A and B6. In fact, the sweet potato is said to have the most nutritional value among vegetables. They are delicious, nutritious and super versatile in the kitchen - what more could we ask for in a vegetable!
My favourite way to enjoy sweet potatoes is oven roasted. Oven roasted sweet potato fries make a great snack or side dish. All you need to do is pre-heat the oven to about 425degF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into ½ inch sticks. Toss in olive oil (a Ziploc bag works well) and sprinkle with salt and a little cumin. Spread onto the lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 30 minutes (or until nice and brown), flipping once or twice. They should be soft on the inside and wonderfully roasted on the outside. Serve warm.
Another way to use roasted sweet potatoes is in a risotto. Peel and dice sweet potatoes (about ½ a large sweet potato per person). Toss with olive oil and salt and roast in a 425degF oven flipping once or twice, until nice and brown. While the sweet potatoes are in the oven, make your risotto. About half way through making the risotto, add some finely chopped fresh rosemary. When the rice finished, remove from heat and add parmigiano-reggiano cheese and combine. Gently fold in the roasted sweet potatoes and serve.
A family favourite of the holidays brings the sweetness of sweet potatoes to a whole new level. My Aunt and cousins always make mashed sweet potatoes topped with toasted marshmallows. Although they keep their recipe a secret, I imagine it goes something like this. Peel and chop sweet potatoes. Cover with water and boil until fork tender. Drain and put back is same pot to allow excess water to evaporate. Add butter, salt, cream and mash. Perhaps add a little nutmeg and cinnamon. Spread into a baking dish (about 1-2 inches deep) and cover with a layer of mini marshmallows. Just before serving, broil just until marshmallow are golden brown and toasted. Watch them closely because they burn fast. Just in case, it is wise to have some back-up marshmallows just in case.