A spectacular dessert that deserves a regular spot on your holiday table.
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A deliciously satisfying twist on scalloped potatoes, impressive enough for special occasions—it’d be great alongside Easter ham—but easy enough for weeknights.
Whole Grain Sweetpotato and Sorghum Stuffing
2 cups diced orange- or yellow/white-fleshed sweetpotatoes
One 8-ounce package sliced mushrooms
1 large green apple, diced
1 large red apple, diced
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 bunch kale, torn
1 large red onion, cut into thin wedges
1 lemon, sliced, plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 8 pieces
About 3/4 cup olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
8 cups cooked whole grain sorghum (see note)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spread the sweetpotatoes, mushrooms, apples, carrots, celery, kale, onions, sliced lemon, rosemary, and thyme on the foil, then scatter the butter pieces on top. Drizzle with 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, 25 to 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, and remaining 1/2 cup of oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
In a large serving bowl, combine the roasted vegetables, sorghum, parsley, sage, and pecans, if using. Drizzle with the lemon-oil mixture and serve.
Note: For tips on buying and cooking with sorghum, visit www.simplysorghum.com.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Simply Sorghum
Totally Savory, Anything-But-Marshmallow Sweetpotato Casserole with Herbs, Walnuts, and Brown Butter
Reprinted from “Sweet Potatoes: Roasted, Loaded, Fried, and Made into Pie,” by Mary-Frances Heck (Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2017)
Make a batch of Sweet Potato Milk Bread Dough (see below) on the Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving or any big celebratory weekend. Shape half of the dough into the Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls for a dinner centerpiece, and use the other half to prep these cinnamon rolls to serve for breakfast the next morning. No hangover can resist the power of cream cheese frosting, I promise.
Ultimate Sweetpotato and Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls
Makes 9 rolls
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) very soft unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
1/2 recipe Sweet Potato Milk Bread Dough (recipe follows), room temperature
Neutral oil or butter, for the work surface
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
For the icing
6 tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Butter a 9-inch square cake pan. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Put the dough on a lightly oiled work surface and pat it into a rectangle with a long side near you. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle that is about 18 × 12 inches and 1/4 inch thick; it is more important that the dough be 1/4 inch thick than an exact-size rectangle.
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon, spread the soft butter in a thin, even layer over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle the brown sugar– cinnamon mixture over the butter.
Beginning with the long side nearest you, lift up the edge of the dough and roll it away from you into a tight coil. Pinch the edge to seal, and then place the roll on the prepared baking sheet. Pop it into the freezer for 10 minutes.
Using a long serrated knife, cut the chilled log of dough into 2-inch-thick rounds. Arrange the rounds, cut-side up, in the prepared cake pan, snuggling them together as needed. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap. Proof the dough at room temperature until puffy, 45 minutes to 1 hour. (Alternatively, let it proof slowly in the refrigerator overnight. Let the dough come to room temperature before baking.)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Make the icing: In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, and beat again until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute. Icing can be kept at room temperature for up to 1 hour; cover and chill for up to 3 days.
Bake the rolls until golden and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately spread the rolls with the icing. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before eating. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: Make extra and freeze them: Shape the cinnamon rolls and arrange them 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze until frozen solid, then transfer to a gallon-size plastic zip-top bag. The day before baking, arrange them in a buttered 9-inch square cake pan, cover with plastic wrap, and defrost in the fridge. Let stand at room temperature until puffy, about 2 hours, before baking as instructed.
Sweetpotato Milk Bread Dough
This versatile dough is endlessly adaptable. Use it in the many variations in the following pages.
Makes 3 1/2 pounds dough, enough for two loaves, 32 rolls, or 24 hot dog buns
1 cup whole milk, warmed, plus more for brushing
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1/4-ounce envelope)
1 1/2 cups sweetpotato puree (from 1 pound orange-fleshed sweet potatoes)
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the bowl and the pans
1 tablespoon kosher salt
6 cups (27 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, gently stir together the 1 cup warm milk, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and the yeast. Let stand until the mixture becomes foamy, about 5 minutes.
Add the sweet potato puree, the remaining 4 tablespoons sugar, the eggs, butter, and salt to the yeast mixture. Fit the machine with the hook attachment and mix the ingredients on low speed until smooth, about 1 minute. With the machine running, add the flour, 1 cup at a time. When all of the flour has been added, increase the speed to medium and knead the dough until it is silky smooth, about 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth, soft, and a little sticky. (Alternatively, to make the dough by hand, whisk the sweet potato, the remaining 4 tablespoons sugar, the eggs, butter, and salt into the yeast mixture until smooth. Place the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour the sweet potato mixture into the well and begin incorporating the flour with a wooden spoon. Continue stirring until the dough is too stiff to mix with the spoon. Lightly butter your hands and knead the dough in the bowl until it is smooth, about 10 minutes.)
Brush a large, clean bowl with some melted butter. Shape the dough into a ball and set it in the bowl, seam-side down. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until almost doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Punch the dough down and use immediately or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
Note: You’ll notice that the flour amounts are given in both volume and weight. Measuring either way is fine, but I find that, when baking, knowing the weight of flour is helpful, since it is a more accurate measurement.
Copyright © 2017 by Mary-Frances Heck. Photograph by Kristin Teig. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
As you might imagine, we love sweetpotato toasts. But we also love taking that idea and turning it into bite-sized snacks and apps! Just like full-sized toasts, sweetpotato toast bites can be topped with pretty much anything you like—try a dollop of dip and a sprinkle of nuts, a slice of ham and a chunk of cheese, or a spoon of peanut butter and your favorite fruit.
This particular version, dressed up with dried figs, blue cheese, and a sprinkle of flaked salt, is easy yet impressive. Serve it for company, holidays, or any time you’re in the mood for something special.
Sweetpotato Toast Bites with Figs, Blue Cheese, Flaked Salt, and Honey
12 crosswise slices orange- or yellow/white-fleshed sweetpotato, or a combination (about 1/4-inch thick) (see note)
2 ounces good-quality blue cheese (about 1/4 cup packed)
3 Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, stemmed and quartered
12 small rosemary sprigs
About 1 teaspoon flaked sea salt
About 1/2 teaspoon pepper
About 1 tablespoon honey
Cook the sweetpotato slices in your toaster oven as you would small slices of bread, using the most well-done setting, until tender (you might have to do this in batches, and each batch might have to cook two times). Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Top each sweetpotato slice with 1 teaspoon of blue cheese, 1 fig quarter, and a rosemary sprig, arranging them on plates or a platter. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper, then drizzle with the honey and serve.
Note: If you don’t have a toaster oven, use 3 or 4 lengthwise slices of sweetpotato and cook them in your toaster using the most well-done setting (you might have to do this two times). Then cut each toasted slice into 3 or 4 pieces to make 12 smaller toasts.
Recipe developed in partnership with Valley Fig Growers
Start your holiday party with this easy appetizer, pairing sweet-savory California sweetpotatoes and wine-plumped California figs. The combination is irresistible!
Sweetpotato Crostini with Red Wine California Figs
Makes 30 crostini
1 large baguette, sliced into thirty 1/4-inch rounds
For the sweetpotato spread
1 pound orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 3 cups)
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
For the red wine California figs
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (from 1 orange)
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 cup sliced Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs (4 ounces)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Toast the baguette slices until stiff, about 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, make the sweetpotato spread: In a medium saucepan, boil or steam the sweetpotatoes until fork tender, about 20 minutes.
In a medium microwaveable bowl, combine the honey, olive oil, and rosemary and microwave until warm, about 25 seconds. Add the sweetpotatoes and mash the mixture to a paste. Add the salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, make the red wine figs: In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the wine, orange juice, and brown sugar and heat until just boiling. Add the figs, cover, and set aside for 5 minutes.
To assemble the crostini: Drain the figs. Spread the crostini with the sweetpotato mixture, top with one or two sliced figs, and serve.
Recipe and photo by Annelies Zijderveld
Sweet and savory flavors mesh together beautifully in this dressing featuring shredded sweetpotatoes, dried figs, crisped pancetta, and fresh thyme. It’d be great alongside your Thanksgiving turkey, of course, but also with roast chicken, pork, lamb, and beef.
It also works great as a do-ahead dish—you can prepare the dressing though step four in advance, then store it covered in the refrigerator. Take the casserole out of the fridge to return it to room temperature before proceeding.
Sweetpotato, Fig, and Pancetta Dressing
Serves 8 to 10
8 to 10 ounces diced pancetta (see note)
1 1/2 cups sliced shallots (6 to 8)
12 ounces orange-fleshed California sweetpotatoes, coarsely shredded
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup stemmed, sliced Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Mission Figs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper, or more to taste
12 cups 3/4-inch diced or torn French or Italian bread, with crusts (from 12 to 16 ounces of bread)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a 2 1/2- to 3-quart casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, cook the pancetta, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 13 to 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pancetta to a bowl or plate. Set aside to cool.
Add the shallots to the pancetta fat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the sweetpotatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sweetpotatoes are al dente, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the broth, figs, thyme, salt, and pepper and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and set aside 5 minutes to plump the figs.
Transfer the sweetpotato-fig mixture to a very large bowl. Add the bread and 3/4 of the pancetta, stirring gently to evenly moisten. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle the remaining pancetta on top. Dot the top with the butter and cover with foil.
Bake until heated through, 30 to 40 minutes. Uncover and bake until browned on top, 5 to 10 minutes.
Note: Look for pre-diced pancetta in the deli section of your supermarket. If you can’t find it, buy a hunk from the deli, then dice it at home.
Recipe developed in partnership with Valley Fig Growers
These Savory Sweet Potato Waffles with Garlic Crème Fraîche make an incredible breakfast or brunch item for Easter or anytime of the year!
Ideal for a festive brunch, this pillowy casserole is full of hearty flavor. It might remind you a bit of French toast—if French toast had sweetpotatoes and sausage and sage!—and it’s even good with a drizzle of maple syrup.
Breakfast Strata with Sweetpotatoes, Chile, and Goat Cheese
Serves 10 to 12
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 pound orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes, cut into 3/4-inch dice (about 3 1/4 cups)
12 ounces loose breakfast sausage or breakfast sausage patties
Nonstick cooking spray
10 ounces crusty Italian or French bread, with crusts, cut or torn into 3/4-inch pieces (about 10 cups)
One 7-ounce can chopped green chiles
4 ounces chèvre (spreadable goat cheese), crumbled (about 1 cup)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
8 large eggs
2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the sweetpotatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up and stirring occasionally, until the sweetpotatoes are lightly browned and tender and the sausage is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Stir in the chiles and set the skillet aside.
Coat a 2 1/2- to 3-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Arrange 1/3 of the bread in the dish. Top with 1/3 of the sweetpotato mixture, 1/3 of the cheese, and 1/3 of the sage. Repeat 2 times. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the casserole and set aside for 20 minutes, pressing on the bread occasionally to help it absorb the liquid.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Cover the casserole with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is browned and the center is set, about 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting and serving.