Side dishes are often an after thought for a meal, but it can really take a meal to another level when the side is worthy of attention. I came up with this new recipe for a recent 3 course dinner party, and I'd say this side dish generated perhaps the most positive feedback--both for its taste and because it's a innovative twist on a common dish. It was served with Cilantro-Lime Marinaded Pork Tenderloin and Chipotle Cream.
Two other bits of good news about this one--it's very easy to make, and pretty nutritious (it doesn't take a lot of the flavorful butter to make the nutrient-rich sweet potatoes tasty). You can make other butters following this technique to have on hand as a quick flavor boost for a wide variety of foods.
4-5 large sweet potatoes
1/2 cup milk to start, add more gradually as needed to reach desired consistency
For the butter:
8 tbsp unsalted butter (1 stick), softened a bit (leave out for an hour or so)
juice from 1/2 of a lime
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 sage leaves, chopped
1 tsp cumin
salt & pepper to taste
Bring a pot of water to boil for the sweet potatoes. Add the potatoes and cook until soft--they cook a bit quicker than regular potatoes, about 15 minutes should do. As the potatoes cook, combine the butter ingredients in a mixing bowl until everything is well mixed together. You can make this earlier and refrigerate if you like.
Drain the potatoes, add the milk and butter (you might hold back a couple tablespoons and taste first...you can always offer extra butter at the table or add in if you decide upon tasting you want more). Mash in the butter and milk as you would other types of mashed potatoes. Add extra milk and butter as needed, mashing until you reach your desired consistency. Serve and enjoy!