Sweet potatoes are kinda like Paul Rudd. Umm… they’re sweet… handsome… they pair perfectly with cinnamon… everyone likes them, and anyone who doesn’t is of questionable character.
Yeah. That sounds about right.
Matter of fact, I think calling someone a sweet potato should be an official compliment. Screw “sweetheart”. Hearts aren’t sweet. They’re meaty. Or so I assume… they are muscles.
So on Thanksgiving, let’s try this out:
If someone is helping you in the kitchen, thank them with, “You’re such a sweet potato!”
When your significant other pours you another glass of wine, tell them, “Thanks, Sweet Potato!”
While introducing your boyfriend or girlfriend to the family, say, “And this is my sweet potato,
Henry Paul Rudd.” (Lolz.)
It’ll catch on…
For now, you’re just gonna focus on winning everyone over with this Indian-inspired sweet potato dish. (No, not Geronimo-Indian, Apu-Indian.)
I love the combination of cashews and cardamom, which you will often find in Indian sweets, as well as some curries. I thought it would enhance sweet potatoes quite nicely, and serve as a fun departure from the usual cinnamon and pecans. Coconut also seemed like a no-brainer when coming up with this dish. Another little twist with my version is leaving all or some of the skin on. In the first place, potato skin is good for you; it’s got vitamins and extra fiber. Second, I actually flavored it, so it tastes good, too, and adds extra texture to the dish. Just try it. If you still don’t like the skin, you can remove it all before mashing the potatoes. But then you won’t be as cool.
CCC (Cardamom, Coconut & Cashew) Smashed Sweet Potatoes
4 medium sweet potatoes
olive oil for brushing the potatoes
salt & sugar to sprinkle the potatoes
1 1/2 cups full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp salt
a generous sprinkling of black pepper
a few handfuls of cashews, toasted
unsweetened shredded coconut to garnish (optional)
(vegan) marshmallows to garnish (optional)
1) Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Brush the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and sugar. Make sure you coat them all the way around. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until nice and soft.
2) Once the potatoes are ready, use tongs to transfer them to a large bowl. You can leave all of the skin or peel away some of it. I peeled some off and had that as a snack :) Then with a potato masher, start mashin’. Mashy McMash-Mash.
3) In a saucepan, combine the coconut milk, sugar, cardamom, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently. Let it reduce for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
4) Roughly chop the cashews, and add about two thirds to the potatoes (if you’re not going to top the potatoes, you can just add all the cashews). Gradually stir in the coconut milk. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. I added a little extra salt and pepper, but that was all it needed.
VEGAN MARSHMALLOWS! AAAAHH!
5) You can serve the potatoes as is, or casserole style: spread the mash in a baking dish (8×8 inches is a good size for this quantity), top with marshmallows, the remaining cashews, and some shredded coconut. Then pop it in the oven til the marshmallows get all browned and gooey and such. Remember to make sure it’s already hot before topping with the marshmallows, since they only need a couple of minutes to brown. You don’t want one of those burnt marshmallow disasters. I’m saving my batch for the big day, so I made a little dish to show you (and to eeeaaaat).
Sweet, nutty, a hint of spice. Mmmm.
I think Paul Rudd would also go nicely with cardamom, coconut and cashews. I dunno, just sayin’. Anyway, you should totally make this. Everyone will think you’re such a sweet potato (see?).
And in case you’re wondering, I got Paul Rudd on the mind after seeing the recent SNL, in which Mr. Sweet Potato makes a last-minute appearance in a most awesome Thanksgiving skit.