Recipe source: The Gilded Fork
I have universal, type O+ blood. I have never had malaria, never traveled Africa, never engaged in prostitution or shared needles. All this and more makes me a good candidate for donating blood, and I believe passionately in donating as long as I can. The downside is, like a lot of women, I have a tendency to be anemic. So rather than getting a painful finger prick for nothing, I always make a point to eat red meat a few days before donating.
This last time, I decided to go all out and make a steak, mashed potatoes and garlic-sauteed mushrooms. Because I am from frou-frou Southern California, I could not be satisfied with just ANY mashed potatoes – no, I went with chipotle mashed sweet potatoes. This blog is about the potatoes.
For the record, I originally found this recipe while looking up options for Thanksgiving last year. I fully expect you to keep this blog in mind for the next four months!
What gives these potatoes their chipotle kick is a can of chiptole chiles in adobo sauce. I used Embasa brand, which is easy to find in any grocery store (Hispanic foods aisle). A word of caution, it is kick-your-ass hot. I made the not so bright move of sticking my tongue onto the can lid to taste it and subsequently coughing and hacking and reaching for water and crackers. So don’t do that.
To make the sauce, all you do is finely chop the chiles and mix them with their sauce.
To begin the potatoes, peel and coarsely chop them, then cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until tender when pricked with a fork.
Drain the potatoes and return to heat briefly, to evaporate any remaining water. Then remove from heat, add half-and-half, butter, and lime juice, and mash with a potato masher (or if you’re me, a dough cutter). Return to low heat and add brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Lastly, add chipotle sauce to taste. I used around 2 or 3 tablespoons – enough to counteract the sweetness of the brown sugar while still being palatable. I’d recommend adding and tasting gradually, so as not to overpower the dish or overwhelm your tastebuds.
And in case you’re curious, the steak I had with this was a New York Strip simply marinaded in olive oil, fresh-ground black pepper and fresh rosemary. To prepare, I seared it in a smoking-hot cast iron pan, then finished in a 400-degree oven. The sliced crimini mushrooms were sauteed with butter, minced garlic, salt and pepper. That’s a HUNGRY MAN meal!
RECIPE – Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes
A Southwestern twist on a holiday classic, we think our sweet potato dish beats the heck out of any version topped with mini-marshmallows! The chipotle paste is a great accompaniment that will kick up any side dish (Our kitchen elves like to put them on scrambled eggs and chilaquiles). Just be careful to add the paste in small increments, as it can be very hot. Any extra will keep well in the refrigerator for a few weeks. The slight hint of lime here brightens the dish to keep it from being heavy.
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
½ cup half and half
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
Juice of 1 lime
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
For the chipotle paste:
1 small can chipotle chiles en adobo
Prepare the chipotle paste:
Remove the whole chiles from the can and chop them finely. Mix them with the remaining adobo sauce and mix well. Set aside. [Chef’s Note: This will keep for a few weeks if you keep it tightly covered in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. The vinegar in the adobo sauce acts as a natural preservative.]
Prepare the sweet potatoes:
Peel and dice the sweet potatoes into evenly-sized cubes. Put the sweet potatoes in a pot and cover completely with cold water. Bring to a boil. [Chef’s Note: When boiling root vegetables or tubers, it is essential to start them in cold water, so that they cook through without the outside cooking too quickly and getting mushy. A good rule of thumb is that any vegetables grown below the ground should be started in cold water, and any that grow above the ground should be started in hot water.]
Reduce the heat and simmer the sweet potatoes for about 15 minutes or until they are tender when pierced with a fork. Drain the water and return the potatoes to pan. Set the pot back on medium-low heat for a minute or two, stirring constantly, to evaporate any remaining water, then remove from the heat. Add some of the half-and-half, the butter, and lime juice, and mash to the desired consistency. Cook over medium heat for another 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly. Stir in the brown sugar, salt to taste, and ½ tsp. of freshly grated cinnamon into the mashed potato mixture. Add some chipotle paste to the mixture, to taste, and stir thoroughly to blend. Reserve the remaining chipotle paste for another use. Sprinkle the top with another ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon just before service.