Often I will spend a great deal of time preparing the entree for a meal and leave little time or energy for a clever or classy side dish. At times like that it’s easy to pop a potato in the oven to bake.
Sometimes, however, a potato just won’t do the job, and if rice and noodles are out of the question, I sometimes think of sweet potatoes. There are always a few cans of sweet potatoes in the basement pantry. In the fall the supermarkets have special sales in anticipation of Thanksgiving Day and I usually buy a few cans then to stock up.
Here is a recipe I developed one evening when potatoes, rice, and noodles wouldn’t do. It’s easy, and you probably have everything you need right on hand. It’s sort of a mashed sweet potato dish with a little spice mixed in to keep it interesting.
SWEET POTATOES MORGANA
1 can natural sweet potatoes (no syrup)
1-2 T. melted butter
approximately 1/2 c. milk (or half and half or cream or a mixture)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 t. allspice
brown sugar or maple syrup, optional
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Puree the sweet potatoes by putting then through a potato ricer, a food mill, a food processor, or just mash them up with a fork. (You can make them as smooth or chunky as you like. No rules here.)
2. Mix with the rest of the ingredients, adding as much or as little sugar as as needed to make it sweet if you want. I usually don’t add any sugar to this because I like the sweetness of the potatoes themselves.
3. Put in a shallow casserole, like a gratin dish, or even a pie plate. (If you want to dress it up a little, you can sprinkle a little allspice or cinnamon on top – not too much.)
4. Bake at 325 degrees for about 30-40 minutes.