Tuesday, November 26, 2013

easy and yummy turkey day side

On Thanksgivings when I was growing up we would cram into my grandparents house in the serious country of upstate New York. I'm talking country: no electricity, one bathroom with a claw foot tub and the entire house heated by the wood burning stove in the kitchen.  Nine cousins, aunts, uncles, my parents and grandparents: it was quite the party.

I never remember it being crammed or fighting for the bathroom though. I remember the never ending bingo games, crafting, playing in the snow and scarfing amazing food.

We used to start the biggest meal of the year with ravioli.  Yes. You heard me, we ate pasta to start, before consuming turkey and potatoes and stuffing and sides and who knows what else.

That was our tradition and though it hasn't carried through till now (could you imagine??) one food tradition and family favorite did: sweet potato boats.

My Aunt Sue made them every year and they are so simple and delicious and the perfect thanksgiving side. You can also skip the boat part and just mash sweet potatoes, but there is something about this presentation that just makes the dish.

sweet potato boats
3 sweet potatoes (actually yams)
1/2 cup sour cream (I like to use reduced fat to make myself feel a little better..)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1package of bacon, cooked and diced into bite sized pieces
3 tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp fresh sage, chopped
Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • Heat the oven to 350
  • Pierce the potatoes with a fork all over
  • Place them in the oven on the top rack (place a foil lined cookie sheet on the rack below to catch the drippings)
  • Let cook for about 30-40 minutes depending on the size of potatoes. They should be soft when you squeeze them
  • Let cool for a few minutes, enough to handle and then slice lengthwise
  • Carefully scoop out filling, keeping skins intact
  • Spray a foil lined pan with cooking spray and place skins (or boats) in
  • Scoop all filling into a bowl and mix with all ingredients, save for half the cheese and all the bacon
  • Whip together with a hand mixer until smooth, stir in half the bacon by hand
  • Scoop the filling back into the boats (they should be overflowing a bit) and top with remaining bacon and cheese
  • Place in oven for about 10 minutes, until cheese is melted
  • You can make these ahead, just cover and refrigerate.  Bring to room temperature and then bake uncovered at 350 until cheese is melted, about 10 mins
I don't have a pic of the boats, but here are the mashed sweet potatoes!

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