Saturday, March 6, 2010

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

These sweet potatoes are the real reason I started blogging again. When you taste something this good, you have to share it with the world. Or cyberspace at least. What I love about this recipe is that it is savory. So often we just put some form of sugar all over sweet potatoes and call it good. I'm not opposed to that mind you, but it's nice to change it up a little.

I got this recipe from Aunt Jeanene of lemon ricotta pancake fame. She said it originally comes from Martha Stewart, but you can't find it on the web site. I've only made it a couple of times, but I've already had two people declare that this version as converted them to sweet potatoes. Try it!

1 1/2 to 2 pounds sweet potatoes
4 ounces smoked bacon, diced
2 T dark brown sugar
3 T unsalted butter, softened
2 shallots, minced
1 t minced fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
1 large egg
2 T heavy cream
2 ounces Gruyere cheese, finely grated, plus more for garnish
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the sweet potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet; bake until tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool slightly.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil; fit with a wire rack. Arrange bacon strips on rack and sprinkle with brown sugar. Cook until well glazed and crisp, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool slightly and roughly chop. Set aside.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; saute until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add rosemary and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat, and set aside. Slice each potato in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out flesh, leaving about a 1/4 inch border all around potato halves; place halves on a baking sheet, and set aside.

Place potato flesh in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter, reserved shallot mixture, egg, cream and Gruyere. Mix well until combined.

**Note** I don't save the skins, I just put the sweet potato mixture in a baking pan and cook it as it is.

Season with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip; pipe into reserved halves.

Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven; garnish with Gruyere, rosemary and reserved bacon.

Serves 6

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