Food + Wine

Brown Sugar & Chipotle Sweet Potatoes

This recipe was inspired by Bobby Flay’s ‘Smoked Chile Scalloped Sweet Potatoes’. It’s thinly sliced sweet potatoes layered with a chipotle cream and it’s amazing. My husband and I ate at his ‘Mesa Grill’ in Caesars Palace in Las Vegas several years ago and fell in love with it.

This was back when we didn’t have any kids or a mortgage or ‘real jobs’ that required us to be ‘real adults’. We were both working in fine-dining restaurants and coming home with incredible loads of cash in our pockets every night, so we just went out to eat. All the time. I look back now on all the money we spent so frivolously back then and think, who were those people?! But I suppose that’s what your early twenties are all about, right? Throwing money away.

But after we tasted his sweet potatoes at his restaurant I began making it at home and then started to add a few more things to put my own stamp on it. At first it was simply the addition of brown sugar on top of the unbaked casserole, (I felt that it really balanced out the heat in the dish), and that made it really good so I kept on doing it for awhile. Then the other day I was in the mood for this dish it but was just feeling so, incredibly lazy. I mean, thinly slicing all those potatoes can be exhausting even if you do have a mandolin (which I do). So, I remembered that I had a large can of sweet potatoes* in my pantry left over from Thanksgiving. A lot of times I’m in the mood for fancy but sometimes my child drives me to the can. And my aching feet and back thanked me generously. Here’s what I did…
-Happily Opened 1 29 oz can of sweet potatoes*, drained it, and put it in my food processor along with…
1 cup of sour cream, 1 cup of milk or cream, 1 TB of chipotle pepper puree (I buy the canned chipotle in adobo and keep it in a zip bag in the freezer so I can slice off a tablespoon’s worth each time I need it), a good pinch of salt, 3 TB of brown sugar, and 2 eggs.
-I pureed this until everything was evenly mixed and then poured it into a greased casserole dish.
-I sprinkled the top liberally with more brown sugar to coat and then crumbled a few handfuls of Ritz crackers on top of that.
-Then, if that wasn’t enough I dotted the top with a bit of butter (pouring melted butter over top would work too) and then baked it at 350* for an hour.
(*note-It’s not the syrupy candied kind, but simply peeled, cooked sweet potatoes in water with a hint of sugar.)
The end result was absolutely delicious and definitely worth all the little short cuts I took. I will still continue to make the scalloped potato version now and again because it’s so gorgeous. But it’s good to know that I can still revisit those lovely, familiar flavors by doing it the lazy way. Thanks Bobby!

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  • Reply Tinky May 4, 2010 at 1:09 am

    Oh, Abbey–I love both sweets and chipotle and wouldn't have thought of combining them. I must try this! Thanks……

  • Reply Everyday Champagne May 4, 2010 at 11:36 am

    It really does make a good match…I think adding a sweet element makes me like the chipotle flavor better.

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