Monday, December 25, 2006

Bourbon Baked Sweet Potatoes

5-6 chubby, red-fleshed sweet potatoes
Splash of extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

1-inch square of ginger, peeled and grated
2 generous pinches of ground cinnamon or canela
1 generous pinch of ground cloves
Zest of one lemon (orange zest would be good too)
3T unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit
1/4 cup maple syrup
Splash of milk (2T. or so)
Splash of bourbon (2T. or so)
1/4 freshly grated Parmesan (not from the plastic container!)
Spicy Pecans (recipe below)

Prepare the Sweet Potatoes:
Preheat the oven to 375.
Slice the sweet potatoes about 1/3-inch thick and use a circular cookie cutter (optional) to stamp each slice into a uniform, round shape -- or you can just peel the potatoes and slice them. My cookie cutter was about 1 1/2 inches wide. Toss the sweet potato medallions in a generous splash of extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place in a single layer on a baking sheet(s). Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating from top to bottom halfway through, until tender and golden. Remove from oven and let cool.

In a baking dish, (I used an 8x8) --layer the sweet potato medallions, you want them to overlap slightly. Sprinkle with the lemon zest, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Cover tightly and place in refrigerator. You can assemble to this point up to a couple days in advance.

An hour before serving:
In a small bowl whisk together butter, maple syrup, milk, and bourbon. Drizzle all of the sauce over the sweet potatoes, sprinkle with Parmesan, cover with foil, and bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until deeply golden and caramelized - another 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with Spicy Pecans and you are ready to go.