Hello again! I’ve made something interesting for you. I wasn’t quite sure how these would turn out, but they were actually pretty good, depending on who you ask. I loved these smooth, smokey, just a little bit spicy, potatoes. Jacob, however, was lukewarm. He did qualify his opinion by explaining that when I told him I was making sweet potatoes, he was expecting sweet potatoes. You know, that quintessential southern casserole with brown sugar topping. I considered that, since I know he loves it, but I wanted to try something a little different. The combination of sweet and spicy was just right, and it’s ridiculously easy to make. You bake the sweet potatoes for a while – I think mine were in the oven just over an hour, but you know they’re done when they get really soft. Then, once they cool a little, you scoop out all the insides and mix with butter, salt, pepper, and a chipotle chile.
You use a hand mixer to beat them until they are smooth, adjusting the seasonings as you go (be very careful with that chile! They can be very strong, and you want to just barely notice that it’s there), and then put them back in the oven to bake for a bit until they’re hot again.
I loved that the chipotle added a little something unexpected to such an ordinary vegetable – it’s funny how the things I never would have thought to combine I usually enjoy the most. And I think I enjoy the element of surprise in cooking almost as much as I do the way things taste. If I had seen these rather ordinary looking potatoes offered on a table somewhere, I would probably have put them on my plate, but I would have been pleasantly surprised after that first bite. It’s the tastes and flavors that catch you off guard that makes experimenting in the kitchen so much fun.
whipped chipotle sweet potatoes
- 5 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed
- 1 tablespoon minced chipotle chiles in adobo, mashed to a paste (1 1/2 to 2 chiles)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces and softened
- 1 teaspoon salt
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and butter a 2-quart shallow glass or ceramic baking dish.
Prick each potato several times with a fork, then bake on baking sheet until very soft, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
When cool enough to handle, halve potatoes and scoop flesh into a bowl. Beat potatoes, chile paste (to taste), butter, and salt with an electric mixer at medium speed just until smooth, then spread in baking dish.
Bake whipped potatoes until hot, 20 to 25 minutes.