Chef’s Notes: I have never understood the need to drown a lovely sweet potato in brown sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup, marshmallows, etc. I mean, it’s not a dessert, it’s a side dish! Apparently the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission agrees with me, because on their website I found some great recipes for things to do to with a sweet potato besides hiding it under three pounds of sugar.
One of the recipes on that website is this one for Baked Garlic Sweet Potatoes. I made only a few changes to the original recipe – decreasing the yield and altering the preparation.
I served this dish with Orange-Herb-Bacon Roast Chicken.
Baked Garlic Sweet Potatoes
1 large sweet potato
1 medium white potato
(You want roughly a 2:1 potato ratio)
4 – 6 cloves of garlic
1/4 C. butter (half a stick), at room temperature
2 T. milk
3 T. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp. fresh rosemary, snipped
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Scrub the potatoes, pierce with a fork, and place on baking sheet. Cut the ends off the garlic but do not peel. Rub the garlic with olive oil, wrap in foil, and place on baking sheet with the potatoes. Place the baking sheet in the oven. The sweet potato will take about an hour to cook; the white potato and the garlic about 30 minutes. You can tell if they are done if they feel soft when squeezed.
(If you are serving this with Orange-Herb-Bacon Chicken, you can cook the potatoes and garlic at the same time, but because the chicken cooks at 325 degrees, adjust the cooking time accordingly.)
Allow the potatoes to cool until you are just able to handle them. Slip them out of their jackets and place the flesh in medium-sized mixing bowl. Pop the garlic cloves out of their peels and add it to the potatoes. Add all of the other ingredients. Beat with an electric mixer until blended and smooth.
Spoon the potato mixture into a greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired. Bake for 30 minutes until golden on top.