Monday, November 26, 2012

Stovetop Sweet Potatoes with Maple and Creme Fraiche

Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without a sweet potato dish, so I searched my cookbooks for a recipe that would be tasty but not too involved.  When I saw "stovetop" in the title, I decided this would be the one!  Then I looked at the list of ingredients and saw "creme fraiche."  I didn't what that was or where I would find it.  I asked Ashlea, and she said she could get it at Trader Joe's.  She even made a special stop in Kansas City on her trip out here to buy it for me.  What a daughter!  Ashlea and I ended up preparing this together. . .sort of.  I started it, and she finished up, adding extra spices to her taste. That's how she cooks.  We even had some homemade pure maple syrup from Michigan to use - delicious!  (Note:  we use ground cinnamon rather than crushing cinnamon sticks.)

2 cinnamon sticks, broken
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup pecan halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 (15 oz.) cans candied yams or sweet potatoes in syrup, drained
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup creme fraiche
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon maple extract or vanilla extract
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Grind the cinnamon sticks to a fine powder in a coffee grinder; set aside.  Cook sugar and 3 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium high heat 3 minutes or until melted and golden.  Add pecans, and cook 2 minutes until pecans are toasted and glazed, stirring frequently.  Stir in cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Spread pecans on wax paper, and set aside to cool.

Combine sweet potatoes, 1/4 cup butter, ginger, 1 teaspoon salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl.  Beat at low speed with a hand mixer 1 minute; beat at high speed 2 minutes.  Gently fold creme fraiche, maple syrup, extract, and balsamic vinegar into sweet potatoes.  Transfer to a saucepan.  Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.  Simmer, covered, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Spoon potatoes into a serving dish, and sprinkle with glazed pecans.  8 - 10 servings.  

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