Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Sides: Sweet Potato Balls

 This is VERY MESSY, if you're brave, you'll get some kids to help.  Grab a marshmallow, mush sweet potato all around it, then roll in the coconut-cinnamon.  Now lick all your fingers!!!

Very important to put a yam in the mix, not so much for taste, but for color.

Everyone has their favorite sweet potato dish.  My mom loves the sweet potato from the can, doused with maple syrup, topped with mini marshmallows and baked.  Is this a generational thing?  My friend Jin said her mom, who I we use to spend holidays with, use to love it too!  The canned sweet potatoes have a sharp bitter, sour taste that I just can't forget.  I hate the stuff.  I hate it so much I can't touch the serving spoon that is used to dish the stuff out.  YUCK!

OK, these aren't pretty, but they are so good!

SIDE STOREY: My sister-in-law, Lee, made an awesome sweet potatoe casserole one year and it was "off the hook", so good that we make this all the time, not just the holidays.  Besides plain roasted sweet potato, this dish was the best I've ever had.  My youngest sister would call from London for the recipe at Easter.  She doesn't call for it anymore, because I think we all have it memorized.  Althouh Lee has moved away, my family makes the Sweet potato casserole every year, and lovingly refer to it as Lee's Sweet Potato Casserole.  This year my sister Cindy will be making it for Thanksgiving Dinner.  YUM!

OK, back to my Sweet Potato Balls...This is not a new recipe for me. I made Paula Deen's recipe a few Thanksgivings ago.  Paula is always good for a sticky, sweet, yummy sweet potato recipe, right?
Was it a hit?  Not as a side dish, but definitely as a dessert. 

Sweet Potato Balls
adapted from Paula Deen

3 large sweet potatoes
1 large garnet yam
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
Juice from 2 mandarin oranges
Zest from 2 mandarin oranges
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups shredded coconut, sweetened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large marshmallow per potato ball

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake the potatoes until tender, then peel and mash them. Stir in the brown sugar, orange juice, zest and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, toss the coconut with the sugar and cinnamon. Press mashed potatoes around each marshmallow, creating a 2 to 3-inch diameter ball. Roll the balls in the coconut mixture.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Watch carefully for the last few minutes of cooking; the expanding marshmallows can cause the potato balls to burst open.

Sweet potato balls oozing with marshmallow...mmmmmm!

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