Friday, November 8, 2013

Roasted sweet potatoes with cane syrup

Attempt at making a crown of autumn leaves. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

Here at the beginning of November, I'm optimistic that I can get everything done that needs to be done from now to the end of the year and have fun, too. We'll see how that goes. Since I've been a slave to the school schedule, I've felt that Thanksgiving gets the short end of the stick, caught between the candy- and costume-fueled foolery of Halloween and the green- and red-bedecked halls of Christmas. Truth is, as much as I love the other two, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, I just wish I had time to slow down and enjoy it.

Pansies. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

To that end, I'm decorating my front porch with containers of pansies, violas (the happiest flowers ever), and flowering cabbages, and planning my T-day menu. Quick cranberry relish and the jiggly canned cranberry sauce will be present, a dry-brined and butter-roasted turkey will be there, too, nestled among my mother-in-law's famous cornbread dressing. Sweet potatoes are a Southern favorite, and while I do love the ubiquitous casserole with the mini-marshmallows (I would never be a marshmallow snob, ever), this year I'm going to make my new favorite sweet potato dish, flavored with that Southern standby, cane syrup.

Very sweet and roasty-toasty, cane syrup is simply sugar cane juice boiled down until thick, similar to the process of turning maple sap into syrup. Cane syrup has a slightly molasses taste, but is not nearly as strong. It may be used just as you would maple syrup. Try cane syrup on fresh-from-the-oven buttermilk biscuits, with a bit of butter; I think the kids would say it will rock your world (do the kids still say that?). Steen's, made in Abbeville, Louisiana, is one brand; I used Roddenbery's Cane Patch Syrup, found in my local Kroger.

Sweet potatoes with cane syrup. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

Roasted sweet potatoes with cane syrup

5 or 6 sweet potatoes
1/4 cup cane syrup, I used Roddenbery's Cane Patch Syrup
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 400. Place sweet potatoes on tray and using a knife or fork, lightly prick the tops of the potatoes. Bake for 45 minutes, until cooked through, but still firm. Remove from oven and let cool. (This can be done earlier in the day.)

2. When potatoes are cool, peel and slice crosswise into 1/2 inch rounds. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and stir in cane syrup, sugar and salt. Add the sweet potatoes and let heat through. Serve warm.

~ adapted from Emeril Lagasse's Farm to Fork (HarperCollins, 2010)

This post is part of #LetsLunch, a monthly Twitter party of global cooks and bloggers. This month, we're celebrating Lisa Goldberg's cookbook "Monday Morning Cooking Club" by sharing recipes that bring people together. Below are links to the other great #LetsLunch posts and if you would like to join #LetsLunch, just follow the hashtag on Twitter and jump in!

Grace’s Zha Jiang Mian noodles at Hapa Mama
Jill’s Pickled Corned Beef at Eating My Words
Linda S.’s Vegan Pumpkin Pie at Spice Box Travels
Lisa’s No Ordinary Meatloaf at Monday Morning Cooking Club
Pat’s Thai Red Curry Noodles (a.k.a. Khao Soi) at The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook


Anne Marie said...

Will have to try this for Thanksgiving!

TeaLady said...

Looks like the perfect side for TG da.

HapaMama said...

I must find some cane syrup now.

Anonymous said...

Looks yummy! Great side to go with the turkey.

Annabelle said...

I've never come into contact with cane syrup; I'll have to look out for some. With my sweet tooth, I am always interested in new options!

Betty Ann @Mango_Queen said...

These roasted sweet potatoes are perfect for the holidays. I must try your recipe. It's been fun doing Let's Lunch with you and the group!