So OK, can we just take a minute to bask in the awesomeness that is several hundred meticulously arranged sweet potato slices, baked until tender all the way through, except for the delightfully crispy tops?
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Thanksgiving is almost here, you guys! Psyyyyched. I’m hosting again this year, and I’m trying to keep things relatively simple. There will be the obligatory mashed potatoes and stuffing (though J always took care of the latter, so if anyone wants to throw some killer recipes at me, I am still totally open to ideas). Momofuku Brussels sprouts. Root veggie pie. (I’m pretending that I’m making this for my vegetarian parents, but I’m really making it for myself.) Homemade cranberry jelly (in a can, people!). And the usual brined turkey. Though I’m considering foregoing traditional roasting methods and spatchcocking the thing instead after Linda brought it up the other day. Thoughts on this are welcome too.
A pretty standard Thanksgiving dish that I never think to make, however, is one involving sweet potatoes. Even as a sugar-loving kid, I was never into the whole marshmallow-topped sweet potato bake thing. It was just a bit too much, especially in conjunction with all the other nap-inducing foods.
If you feel the same way I do, then this is the dish for you. The sweet potatoes are roasted up with nothing more than butter, oil, and salt until gloriously crisp on top. And the sauce manages to be both bright and ever-so-slightly decadent at the same time, with freshness and heat from cilantro and Sriracha balancing out the mild sweetness of the coconut milk and the richness of the crème fraîche.
I have been wanting to make a variation of this potato roast ever since Deb wowed me with it a couple years back. It’s a total show-stopper of a dish, especially when it gets all sorts of colorful. (Could you imagine how pretty it would be with red and golden beets??) The combination of sweet potatoes with bright-spicy-tangy flavors was stuck in my head for quite some time. And when Vermont Creamery asked if I’d be interested in putting together a couple recipes using their crème fraîche (and hosting a giveaway!), I knew I had the perfect excuse to start making that idea a reality.
And now, about the giveaway! Up for grabs is an awesome gift pack from Vermont Creamery that includes two 8 oz. containers of Original Crème Fraîche and two 8 oz. containers of Madagascar Vanilla Crème Fraîche, plus a Keep It Fraîche t-shirt, two of their fantastic cultured butters — one Original Cultured Butter and one with Maple & Sea Salt (the maple & sea salt butter brings the deliciousness, you guys, in a serious way), and a box of crème fraîche chocolates from Lake Champlain Chocolates! Use the rafflecopter below to enter the giveaway. (Christine of Cook the Story, Samantha of Sweet Remedy, and Angela of Seasonal & Savory also participated in the Keep It Fraîche campaign. The giveaways have ended on their sites, but they have some yummy crème fraîche recipes up as well!) Good luck!
4 lbs of sweet potatoes (approximately 2.5 inches in diameter)
3 tbsp olive oil
1.5 tbsp Vermont Creamery Cultured Butter
1.5 tbsp Vermont Creamery Cultured Butter with Sea Salt & Maple
a few pinches of coarse sea salt
1 cup coconut milk
heaping 1/2 cup of Vermont Creamery Crème Fraîche
4 tsp sriracha
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, minced
Preheat oven to 375°. Melt butters over low heat on the stovetop, then mix together with olive oil and set aside.
Peel sweet potatoes, then slice crosswise as thinly and evenly as possible. (Between 1/8” and 1/16” is ideal.) If you have a mandoline, it will make the task far easier. If not, some patience and meticulous slicing work with a sharp knife will work just fine too.
Brush a healthy coating of the butter and oil mixture over the inside of an 8”– 9” baking dish or skillet, and sprinkle with a pinch of coarse sea salt. Arrange potatoes in the dish, the brush with the remaining butter and oil and sprinkle with the remaining salt. (A couple healthy pinches works well, but use your best judgment as far as what seems right.)
Roast potatoes for around 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the middle of the potatoes are tender and the tops begin to brown and crisp. (They may need more time, depending on how thinly you’ve sliced them. Test them with a fork to make sure they’re tender in the middle.) Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
While the potatoes are resting, whisk together the coconut milk, crème fraîche, and sriracha in a saucepan over medium heat, until just warmed.
Pour half of the sauce over top of the potatoes and sprinkle with half of the minced cilantro. Combine the remaining sauce and cilantro and serve alongside the potatoes, for guests to use as needed.