~more recently updated recipes~
2006: Oh man, oh man, oh man. Is this good?! Yes it is! It's a perfect vegetable recipe for Thanksgiving, a less-but-still-sweet sweet potato casserole, full of flavor and buttery-gingery-syrupy goodness. But it's also simple enough for everyday. This is my favorite, so far, of the Thanksgiving vegetable collection. Hmm. Or wait. What about the World's Best Green Bean Casserole? And the Smothered Cabbage? And the Creamy Carrot Purée? And ... hmmm, must do another taste test.
2014: It turns out that while I'm not "famous" for Maple Ginger Sweet Potatoes (I am, I really am, for the World's Best Green Bean Casserole) but I do make them often and find the recipe most adaptable, even while adhering to its essence, cubes of sweet potato glazed with a buttery, gingery syrup.
"This was a hit at our dinner!" ~ HoomeCook
"It came out v well ..." ~ Dhivya
"... a dinner staple at our house -- they are my 9-year old's favorite veggie." ~ Sharon
"I love this recipe; I have made it many times." ~ HillPill
RECIPE for MAPLE GINGER SWEET POTATOES
Time to table: 90 minutes
Serves 8 (in usual-sized servings, 16 for small-ish big-dinner servings)
2 1/2 pounds of sweet potatoes, scrubbed well
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1/3 cup maple syrup (sorghum works great, too)
1/3 cup water
Salt & pepper to taste
Decide how you're going to cook the sweet potatoes, either steaming or boiling. Both work.
TO STEAM Start the water to boil for the steaming. Peel the sweet potatoes and dice into pieces about 3/4". Place in an even layer in a steamer basket, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, until fully cooked. Remove from heat, uncover (so they don't get soggy).
TO BOIL Place whole unpeeled sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover (plus a good inch) with water. Cover and bring water to a boil. Adjust heat to maintain a fast simmer and let cook until a knife can be easily inserted into the center, about 15 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly. Peel and cut into a 3/4" dice.
MAKE SAUCE In a large skillet, melt the butter til shimmery. Add the ginger and let cook for a minute until fragrant. Stir in the maple syrup and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the water and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in the cooked sweet potato and stir well to coat. Season to taste and stir well again. Transfer to a lightly buttered baking dish. Cover with foil.
BAKE COVERED Heat oven to 375F. Bake for 30 minutes, stir, then return the foil and bake for another 15 minutes.
BAKE UNCOVERED Remove the foil, stir and bake for about another 15 minutes until the glaze has thickened just a bit. Serve immediately.
THE DAY BEFORE Cook the sweet potatoes and assemble the dish. Cover and refrigerate. (The sweet potatoes don't turn brown, no problem.)
THE DAY OF Return to room temperature, then bake, allowing another 10-15 minutes oven time.
ALANNA's TIPs & KITCHEN NOTES
STEAMING vs BOILING (2006) The inspiring recipe specified boiling the sweet potatoes whole, then dicing. I also tried dicing and steaming them. Both work fine. Boiling the sweet potatoes leave the diced pieces slightly softer to better soak up the butter-ginger-syrup glaze. Steaming is faster. (2014) These days, I only steam the sweet potatoes but do let them cook slightly more. Be gentle when stirring the sweet potatoes, you really don't want them to break up into a big mush.
FRESH GINGER (2006) Use a microplane to easily grate fresh ginger. (2014) I've learned the hard way that fresh ginger makes for something special, my usual reliance on a jar of Asian ginger, something ordinary. Go for the fresh ginger!
MAPLE SYRUP (2006) Grade B maple syrup has the most flavor. It's not always easy to find though is almost always in stock at Trader Joe's. (2014) The maple syrup people have done away with the long-time grades, although the changes will be implemented in phases over about three years. Now all maple syrups will be "Grade A" but will also include a taste description. The old Grade B will be described as "Dark / Robust Taste".
PEPPER (2014) Don't skip or be skimpy with the pepper, it's great contrast to the sweet, sticky maple syrup.
GARNISH (2014) Without some sort of garnish, Maple Ginger Sweet Potatoes look quite plain, even unappealingly plain. For holiday meals, I "dude them up" by serving in a shallow dish topped with toasted pecans as "petals" in three flowers, with dried cranberries as the flower centers. Easy and quite pretty! I've also topped with toasted slivered almonds, also candied walnuts or glazed pecans.
SLOW COOKER (2008) You can make Maple Ginger Sweet Potatoes in the slow cooker – just combine all the ingredients in a three-quart slow cooker and cook on HIGH for about 4 hours, stirring occasionally if you can. What you get is the flavors – though not cubes of sweet potato glazed in maple syrup and ginger. The last time I did this, I let them cook another 4 hours, they got really soft and luscious and maple-syrup colored, so I served them mashed. Very good!
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MORE FAVORITE SWEET POTATO RECIPES
~ My Favorite Sweet Potato Recipes ~
~ Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes with Cranberry & Orange ~
~ Savory Stir-Fried Sweet Potatoes ~
~ Frozen Sweet Potato Fries: Are They Worth the Money? the Calories? ~
~ more sweet potato recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Chicken Cider Stew ~
~ Rustic Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Carrots ~
~ Sweet Potato Salad with Roasted Poblano, Roasted Corn & Chipotle ~
~ more sweet potato recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column