Sweet potatoes are an important part of every Thanksgiving table. They were probably present at the very first Thanksgiving on Plymouth Rock. As much as we all love sweet potatoes, repetition sometimes breeds contempt. You can get a little sick of having the same sweet potato casserole every November. If you’re tired of the same old sweet potatoes (or you are searching for a new dish to surprise at your family potluck), consider these two variations on Thanksgiving sweet potatoes.
Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes
The beauty of this dish is that you don’t have to slave away at the stovetop all day. It also doesn’t take up your crowded stove and counter space. With a slow cooker, you can set it and forget it!
What You Need
4 pounds slender sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
4 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cooked bacon slices, crumbled
Walnuts, if desired
Directions: Combine orange juice concentrate and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over sweet potatoes, tossing to coat. Cover and cook on low for 5 or 6 hours, until potatoes are your desired tenderness. Then transfer potatoes to a serving dish with a slotted spoon. Increase the slower cooker to high. Whisk together cornstarch and 1 Tbsp of cold water. Add this cornstarch mix to cooking liquid in the slow cooker and cook for 3-5 minutes, whisking constantly until sauce thickens.
Spoon the sauce over potatoes. Mix parsley, orange zest, and garlic. Sprinkle potatoes with parsley mixture and crumbled bacon. If you prefer walnuts to bacon, serve with chopped fresh walnuts.
Roasted Sweet Potato and Onion Tart
Who needs pie when you can have a sweet potato and onion tart? This Southern influence recipe should have your Thanksgiving guests raving about your good taste.
What You Need
3 cups 3/4-inch-cubed sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 lb.)\
1 cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
6 cooked bacon slices, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 (14.1-oz.) package refrigerated pie crusts
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Gruyère cheese
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
Garnish: fresh rosemary sprigs
Directions: First, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss together first 4 ingredients in a bowl; then arrange the mixture in a single layer in a lightly greased 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring after 10 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack (about 30 minutes). Stir in bacon and parsley.
Next unroll the pie crusts and stack them carefully on a lightly greased surface. Roll the pie crusts into a 12 inch circle, then place into a 10-inch tart pan (deep dish) with a removable bottom. Use a fork to press into fluted edges. Trim the excess piecrust along edges. Line with aluminum foil or parchment paper, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Place pan on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes. Remove weights and foil and bake 5 more minutes. Cool completely on baking sheet on a wire rack (about 15 minutes). Then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Layer half of the sweet potato mixture and half of cheese in the tart shell. Repeat layers one time. Whisk together half-and-half and next 3 ingredients and pour over cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees on lowest oven for rack 35 to 40 minutes. Cool tart on baking sheet on a wire rack 15 minutes. Serve warm with rosemary for garnish.