"Tangerine Chipotle Sweet Potato Mash - The simple addition of tangerine (or orange) juice, maple syrup, and a dash of chipotle pepper turn these mashed sweet potatoes into something special. A perfect side any time of the year"
The making of Tangerine Chipotle Sweet Potato Mash
As a child, we had the required Sweet Potato Casserole at Thanksgiving. That marshmallowy topped sweet potato mash, filled with the flavors of pumpkin pie. Spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, sweetened with brown sugar, it was/is like having dessert with dinner. And if your family, like mine, enjoyed pumpkin pie with whipped cream as your dessert, well, it was really a double dose of the same.
And since this popular casserole was made with canned sweet potatoes with the watery texture of glue, it was not my favorite on the table.
"Give me my marshmallows on a 'smore!".
As the years moved on, our taste and table progressed as well. Soon our casserole was a layering of fresh sliced sweet potato, with granny smith apples, and onions topped with a mixture of orange juice, apple juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Better. Better flavor, better texture, and I learned I liked the flavor of orange juice with sweet potato.
But the funny thing was, we hardly ever had sweet potatoes except at Thanksgiving.
I have learned to love sweet potatoes and try to have them often. Many times we just bake them in the oven, open them up, add a bit of butter, salt, and pepper, and that's it. My recipe for Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Fries roasts wedges in a hot oven and then I sprinkle chipotle pepper over along with salt. Yum. But eat them fast, as we know the water content of a sweet potato will make them soggy quickly.
Many people think that sweet potatoes are a lot more nutritious than russet potatoes. And to a certain extent that's true - but not entirely.
A russet potato has about 280 calories per normal baked potato size (that’s about 10 ounces but you could probably do just fine with half of one). It has about 7 grams of dietary fiber and is an excellent source of vitamins C, B6, potassium, and magnesium. High in starch and carbohydrates at 63 grams, yet low in sugar and fat.
A sweet potato has about 270 calories for the same-sized spud. It has no fat and will give you 9 grams of dietary fiber. A sweet potato provides 100% of your daily vitamin C requirement and is another good source of B6, potassium, and magnesium with about 62 grams of carbohydrates. It has less starch but, as the name implies, it is a sweet potato, so it has more sugar, about 19 grams.
So bottom line, both are about the same unless you are watching your sugar, and then the russet actually may be your better choice - although not for this recipe.
So back to my "the making of" I am trying to use more color and different interesting flavors to enhance my more practical approach to eating light and eating right, I go back to the casserole with the orange juice, and the sweet potato fries and decide that those flavors will go perfectly with my simple grilled pork chops and so...
I start with the sweet potato which, while many recipes will tell you to bake until soft, that process takes about 30 to 45 minutes, so I like to peel, cube, and steam them. I don't boil them in water due to sweet potatoes having a fairly high water content already and boiling in water only dilutes the rich sweet potato flavors...and I want as much of their flavor as I can get; so I steam them. Steaming only takes only about 10 minutes for your sweet potato chunks to get nice and soft.
Then, after I drain the water from the pot, I have a nice hot pot to work with while I mash my potatoes. Using a potato masher, I start mashing while I add the butter, some salt, pepper, a bit of real maple syrup for sweetness; please use REAL maple syrup - not Log Cabin or Mrs. Butterworths! I had tangerines on my tree so I used them, I think they have a sweeter flavor than an orange, but an orange can be used instead of tangerine. Then I add chipotle pepper to the mix, to taste. You can add as much or as little as you like, it's your dish after all, but it does add a nice smokiness to it, so don't omit it or use another chili powder. Well, not if you want the smokiness; if you don't care about smokey, then use whatever chili you want to give it a little heat.
This recipe for Tangerine Chipotle Sweet Potato Mash goes really well with grilled meats, especially when you use standard bbq seasonings or bbq sauce. It's also delicious served with my recipe for Indonesian Style BBQ Pork Tenderloin. It's so easy and quick to make and is a great way to bring more of the sweet potato into your life.
Tangerine Chipotle Sweet Potato Mash
- 2 large or 4 small sweet potatoes cubed about 6 cups cubed
- 1 - 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ - ⅓ cup fresh squeezed tangerine or orange juice, to taste
- 1 teaspoon zest zest first, squeeze second
- 1 - 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup to taste
- ½ - 1 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder to taste
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Place the cubes of sweet potato in a steamer basket and steam over boiling water until soft, about 7 - 10 minutes depending on how big the chunks were. Drain the water and return the potato to the hot pan, add the butter and begin to mash. Add ¼ cup juice along with the zest, maple syrup, chipotle pepper, pinch of salt and pepper. Mash until you have the consistency you desire, from slightly chunky to smooth. Taste and adjust for seasonings adding more juice, syrup, or chipotle as desired.