They say sweet potatoes are a ‘super food’; they are ridiculously nutritious. We just think they are delicious and in Cairo they come fresh, fully ripened from the Nile farms. In my kitchen I bake them with butter, brown sugar, pecans and spices into a rich savory sweet side, delicious for Thanksgiving or a roasted chicken for any regular Monday night dinner.
Serves: 6 guests
8 x 8 glass baking pan
8 medium or 10 small sweet potatoes, washed and poked with a fork
1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup of brown sugar (sweeten to taste)
4 TBSP good unsalted butter
1 TBSP ground cinnamon
salt and cracked pepper to taste
For the sweet potato bake:
Wash, scrubbing all the dirt off each set potato and poke little holes with a fork. Wrap each potato in aluminum foil. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the potatoes until slightly squishy when tapped with tongs. Depending on the size and plumpness of the potatoes this can take one to two hours.
Remove the potatoes from the oven and set aside to cool for 30 minutes.
One at a time unwrap the potatoes and slit down the center with a sharp knife. Using a small spatula scrape out the potato flesh and put in a bowl. Do this for each potato.
If you will make this ahead of time, you can put the potatoes in an airtight container and store for up to three days before baking the final dish. I do this often if I am hosting.
When ready to bake, butter the sides and bottom of the glass baking dish. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius / 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix into the potato mash the butter and cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste. Spread potato mash into the buttered dish. Sprinkle more brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans on top. For extra richness, dollops of butter can be plopped around as well.
Bake potato mash for 20-30 minutes, or until middle is hot and sides are bubbly. The potatoes are already cooked so mind the baking time so the toppings do not get too crispy.
Serve piping hot with roasted chicken, a Thanksgiving turkey or all by themselves, seeing as they are a super food.