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Molasses Mashed Sweet Potatoes

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Serves four.

This mash is a great partner for pork, duck, and all kinds of game; the small amount of molasses really deepens the flavor but doesn’t become cloying. We love the way parsnips and carrots complement the sweet potatoes. You can make this up to a day ahead and then reheat it before serving.

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (1 lb. total), peeled and cut-into 1-inch chunks
  • 4 small carrots (1/2 lb. total), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 medium parsnips (1/2 lb. total), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. sour cream
  • 2 Tbs. molasses
  • 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • Freshly ground black pepper

In a large saucepan, combine the sweet potatoes, carrots, and parsnips; cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, add a dash of salt, and simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and return to the saucepan. Set the pan over low heat, uncovered, and let the vegetables dry in the pan for about 2 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally so they don’t stick. Pass the vegetables through a food mill or mash them by hand, if you prefer. (Hand mashing gives a rustic texture to the dish, while a food mill will give a smoother result.) Stir in the butter, sour cream, molasses, grated ginger, and half-and-half (if you’re preparing the potatoes ahead, save 2 Tbs. of the half-and-half for reheating). Add 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper to taste, adjust the seasonings, and serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 290; Fat (g): 9; Fat Calories (kcal): 80; Saturated Fat (g): 6; Protein (g): 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3; Carbohydrates (g): 53; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0; Sodium (mg): 370; Cholesterol (mg): 25; Fiber (g): 8;

Photo: Amy Albert

I was looking for a sweet potato recipe for Thanksgiving that wasn't overloaded with sugar, cream, and butter. While this was lighter than some recipes, the overall texture was still somewhat heavy. It needs some other spice...maybe orange juice and/or cinnamon would help?

I've made this for a couple of years now. It's a perfect accompaniment for pork.

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