Candied sweet potatoes
Winter (holiday) recipe :
So this holiday season I made 2 Thanksgiving meals, one for family and few days after, one for friends. One of my favorite dishes at the holiday meal table is the candied sweet potatoes. I was insistent on putting it on the menu for both meals but I was kind of skeptical that the Frenchies at the table would be much interested by it. Much to my surprise….they helped themselves to second helpings! I did however leave off the marshmallow as I figured that it would be too strange for them.
The dish I did serve though was simple and easy to make. I thought I’d share it with all of you for your own holiday menus.
for 6 people, I took about 4 or 5 very large sweet potatoes, found at the marché Daumesnil.
I washed then steamed them for about 30 minutes in a covered dish. Removed them from the dish and peeled the skin off, and cut them into very thick slices and laid out the sliced in a dish for the oven.
I then took some butter (dairy-free margarine) about 5 or 6 table spoons. Melted that with some dark brown sugar (around a half a cup of tightly packed sugar), and added in about a a generous cup of crushed pecans.
I sprinkled the sweet potatoes with a little salt for taste, and then drizzled the pecan mix over the potatoes. Put them in the oven at 160°C for an hour, and then served!
It comes out all carmelized on top, and is absolutely divine!
Your post brought back memories of my own sweet potato experience in Paris, during my graduate year abroad, quite a few years ago. My advanced comp. instructor was quite an Americophile, so when Thanksgiving rolled around, he assigned us to write about our family’s Thanksgiving customs. The rest of the traditional Thanksgiving menu was already in my vocabulary, except for sweet potatoes, yams and pumpkin pie [or sweet potato pie in some families.] On the subject of sweet potatoes, I’ve found Americans seem to be divided between candied/glazed or mashed & sweetened with melted marshmallows. My mother considered the latter an abomination, so my dictionary searches [no Internet to help then] involved sweet potato, yam, candied and glazed. The best I could come up with [and I notice you don’t venture to give us the dish’s name in French;-] was “patates glacées.”
When the instructor returned our marked compositions, I noticed he’d red-inked this and substituted “pommes de terre congelées.” Mais quelle horreur gastronomique! I asked him about his correction. It stemmed from a combination of mis-assumptions — “Congelées” from the idea that we Americans got all our food ready-made, TV dinner style, from the freezer and the noun because he thought I’d been snared by a “false cognate” in “patate.” Quelle double-horreur! I took umbrage– I’d been taking French courses for over half my life, and my mother had taught me “pomme de terre” [incl. explaining the imagery] well before that. And to get mashed potatoes from a freezer, let alone on Thanksgiving? I told him what I’d actually meant, and it was the first he’d heard of such a dish [not to mention that he matched your original skepticism about how the French would receive the idea.] So he didn’t know an official French term for it, but he conceded that my attempt was exactly how he’d describe it.