Sweet Mashed Potatoes with Maple Syrup Roasted Bananas
I make sweet mashed potatoes whenever the girls get bored with regular old mashed potatoes. It's a great alternative. The mild sweetness contrasts well with many savory main courses, especially fish.
I was steaming sweet potatoes for dinner today, while our little munchkin was eating a roasted banana I had just made for her. Roasted bananas are one of my childhood favorite desserts and I make them for the girls whenever they want a snack.
"Jackie, what are you making?" she asked, while scooping the soft banana.
"I'm making sweet potato purée for dinner."
"Can I help?"
"Of course, mon p'tit coeur (my sweetheart)" I said.
I let her pass the sweet potatoes through the food mill. She tasted it and asked "Can we add some of the roasted bananas to the sweet potatoes?" Isn't my little 5-year-old sister-in-law a culinary genius? We roasted the bananas with maple syrup to enhance the sweetness a bit. I added mustard and nutmeg to keep the dish savory, but the real credit goes to my munchkin.
Yields: 8 servings2 pounds russet potatoes, 3 potatoes
4 pounds sweet potatoes, 4 sweet potatoes
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup heavy cream, warmed up 1 minute in the microwave
1 cup milk
1-1/2 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 tablespoons mustard
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1-3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
Boiling the russet potatoes: Peel the potatoes, cut them into 2-inch chunks and place them in a large pot. Fill it with cold water until the potatoes are barely covered. It's important to start with cold water so the potatoes cook evenly. Bring to a boil, add 1 teaspoon of salt and reduce the heat to medium-high (if you cook the potatoes at a roaring boil, they might fall apart). Cook for about 20-25 minutes. The potatoes should be fork-tender. Remove from the pot and drain; allow the potatoes to cool a little.
Mashed potatoes: In a deep saucepan (or in the microwave), melt a tablespoon of butter with the milk over very low heat. The milk should be warm. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle and have dried (with no excess water), return the potatoes to the pot over low heat (to ensure there is as little liquid left as possible). Turn off the heat. Using a potato ricer (or a potato masher), mash the potatoes. Slowly add the warm milk. Stir well, using a wooden spoon. Add the parsley and mustard. Season with salt and pepper.
Steaming the sweet potatoes: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into 1-1/2-inch pieces. It's preferable not to cut them too small as they might fall apart. Fill a pot with cold water until it barely touches the steamer level. It's important to start with cold water so the sweet potatoes cook evenly. Place the sweet potatoes in the steamer, bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-high. Steam for about 10 minutes. The sweet potatoes should be fork-tender but still firm. Remove them from the steamer and let them cool a little. Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle and have"dried" (with no excess water), transfer to a baking pan, previously lined with parchment paper.
Baking the sweet potatoes and bananas: Using a paring knife, create a 4-inch incision in the unpeeled bananas. Drizzle the inside of the bananas with a tablespoon of maple syrup. Set aside.
Drizzle 2 tablespoons of maple syrup over the sweet potatoes. Roast for about 20-25 minutes. Gently toss halfway through the baking process. Open the oven and place the bananas in the middle of the sweet potatoes. Drizzle the remaining maple syrup over the sweet potatoes. Cook for another 20 minutes until the bananas are tender and juicy and the sweet potatoes are super soft.
Scoop and gather the flesh of the bananas in a food processor. Add the sweet potatoes, the drippings from the pan and warm heavy cream. Pulse until smooth.
Combine the sweet potatoes, the regular mashed potatoes, nutmeg and the rest of the butter. Stir to even them up. Adjust seasoning if necessary. They're ready!
Serve warm. Garnish with a sprig of parsley.
I paired the sweet potato purée with grilled lemon cod fillet.
Count 1 part russet potato to 2 parts sweet potatoes for a starchier and denser texture.
If you re-heat the mashed potatoes, it's preferable to use a double boiler. For an easy double boiler, place the mashed potatoes in a heat-proof bowl over a larger-sized saucepan filled with simmering water. I always like to add a little kitchen towel underneath the potato-filled bowl. That way the bowl won't jiggle and there won't be any splatter of water in the mashed potatoes.
The bananas give a subtle sweet aroma with the addition of maple syrup. Without it, I find the purée pretty bland.
As soon as the sweet potatoes are peeled, it's preferable to cook them immediately to prevent them from darkening.
Smoothing sweet potatoes with a food processor is okay but mashing russet potatoes is a big no-no; the texture will be gooey and sticky and the result won't be good. The best way is to use a food mill, a potato masher or a potato ricer. You can also manually mash the potatoes using food service disposable gloves. And most important, do NOT over-work the mashed potatoes.
For more potato recipes, check out the link.Published By: on December 7, 2009.