Crispy Sweet 'Taters...

Confession: I have eliminated refined sugar from my diet.  Which is a good thing and a bad thing.  It is hard!  Not just because you crave sugar, but because everything has sugar hidden in it.  So almost everything has to be homemade.  I cook a lot anyway and have been off sugar before, but I miss a few things (uhem... chocolate...).  I feel better, I have a lot more energy and I sleep so much better which is great!

With all this no sugar stuff, I am constantly looking for creative and healthy things to make in the kitchen.  A recipe that I ran across this week was for crispy sweet potatoes from Smitten Kitchen.  I love sweet potatoes anyway, so I thought I would give this a try.  It was wonderful!  The hubby loved it and the kids even gobbled it up.  I love that the tops of the slices get crispy, it gives so much texture to a normally mushy veggie.  I thought with Thanksgiving here this week, it might be a healthy alternative to those marshmallow encased sweet potatoes out there.

I sliced the potatoes on a mandolin and arranged them in a dish as I sliced them.  I did a potato for each person because it was our main course for dinner, so a half of a potato per person would probably be plenty for a side dish.  I used less olive oil and butter than the original recipe, and it was wonderful.  I also topped ours with cayenne pepper and green onions sliced thinly.

Crispy Sweet 'Taters

2 tablespoons salted or unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper
5 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
2 shallots, peeled and sliced thin
2 green onions finely sliced

Heat oven to 375°F (190°C). Heat butter and oil together until butter has melted. Pour 2 tablespoons of the mixture in the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle butter/oil puddle with some salt and pepper. Arrange your potato slices vertically in the dish. Add a sliver of shallot between every few slices of potato, if desired. Brush tops of potatoes with remaining butter/oil and season generously with more salt and pepper. Cover dish with foil and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until potatoes are tender and almost fully cooked. Increase oven heat to 450ºF (230°C), remove foil and let roast another 10 to 20 minutes, until tops of potatoes are nicely browned.

If you’d like to finish this with Thanksgiving Salsa Verde, or at least serve it on the side, place 1 scant cup of parsley leaves, 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, 1 generous teaspoon of fresh thyme and sage leaves, 1 small garlic clove, the zest of 1/2 a lemon and 2 teaspoons capers (rinsed and drained if salted) in a food processor or blender and blend until finely chopped. Drizzle in 7 tablespoons olive oil with the machine running, or enough the mixture is loose and somewhat pourable. Season well with salt and pepper flakes.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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