A friend once told me a story about how his beagle came home one Thanksgiving dragging an entire cooked turkey down the street and how his little legs barely touched the ground as he ran with this massive bird dangling out one side of his mouth. Talk about one man’s loss being another man’s gain. I’m sure the family that left their turkey unattended never suspected it would disappear at the paws of a canine interloper.
Thanksgiving is rich with traditions, hopefully none which include turkey-stealing dogs. I’m often amazed that in this day and age of instant gratification we are still able to will ourselves to wait until this time of year to enjoy things like crisp, roast turkey, mom’s cornbread stuffing or my personal favorite, the classic, unadulterated pumpkin pie. We’re grown ups for Pete’s sake. If we want to eat pumpkin pie in July, so be it.
Luckily, this next recipe is one that I premier on Thanksgiving but have been known to make throughout the holidays because it proves to be a hit every time. A good friend shared a version of this recipe with me years ago and after changing a few quantities to suit my palate, I’ve never skipped a year making it. If you’re looking to find a good stand in, or want to be a little risky and change up the menu this year, skip the sweet potatoes and marshmallows and give these smokey but sweet and creamy chipotle sweet potatoes a try. As long as there are sweet potatoes, there’s really no excuse not to make these. Unless of course some sneaky beagle beats you to them.
Chipotle Sweet Potatoes
6 large (about 5 pounds) red garnet sweet potatoes, boiled, cooled and peeled
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeds removed and chopped (about 4 teaspoons peppers), plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
Makes 8.5 cups
In a large stockpot, cover sweet potatoes with cold water and a lid and bring to a boil over high heat. Once at a boil, turn down to medium and simmer with the lid on for about 35 minutes or until you can easily pierce them with a small paring knife. Drain and let cool in the refrigerator for 25 minutes. It’s okay if they are still slightly warm when you add in the remaining ingredients.
Remove skin from sweet potatoes. For a creamier texture, I prefer to puree them in a food processor but you can also just mash them. Depending on the size of your food processor, you may need to work in batches and chop them into smaller pieces so they fit. I made two batches by halving the recipe and then just mixed them all together in a large serving bowl.
Add in butter, brown sugar, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce and puree until smooth. Serve warm.