Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sweet Potato Sadness

So, overall Thanksgiving was happy and tasty. But... there was one hiccup. Perhaps the worst thing (culinarily) is when you present a recipe made of quality ingredients in the highest of hopes and it doesn't thrill anyone, not even yourself. And it's not because of a mistake the cook made, it's just... the food. That's what happened with my sweet potatoes this year.

Rather than go the typical SAD route of dousing them with sugar and animal hoof goo (i.e. marshmallows) or after baking them in their own skins and splitting them to be served with butter and salt (my favorite!) I tried out a recipe that, well, just didn't work out as I'd wished.

From Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions:

Sweet Potato Puree 
  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • grated rind of two lemons
  • juice of two lemons
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
Boil potatoes in water until tender and then peel while still hot. Place them in a bowl, mash and mix with butter, lemon rind, lemon juice, egg yolks and sea salt. Transfer mixture to a buttered ovenproof casserole and bake in a 350-degree oven for about 1/2 hour.

Frankly, this dish tasted really "healthy," which, as healthy as sweet potatoes actually are, wasn't was I was looking for in a Thanksgiving dish. Left alone to bake, sweet potatoes are divine, sweet, earthy (can something be earthy and divine? If so, it's this root!). This dish was too bright (because of the lemon) and too rich (because of the egg yolk). I forced myself to finish the dollop on my plate and will brave through the leftovers, but I'm not gonna enjoy them. Sadness.

Next time I'll just roast 'em up and let 'em shine on their own---sweet potatoes really don't need anyone to fuss over them. I've learned my lesson.

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