Mashed sweet potato recipes generally start with roasting your sweet potatoes, but this can be a tricky proposition when oven space is limited. For a stovetop adaptation, simmer those sweet potatoes in a rich cooking liquid that gets blended right in at the end. This keeps things more flavorful and less waterlogged than if you’d just boiled the sweet potatoes in water.
To amp up the flavor even further (and add a bit of texture, too), get a little pan of pecans simmering with maple syrup and butter, then pour it over the mashed sweet potatoes just before serving. Little rivulets of butter and maple will find their way into every scoop.
This is an easy way to make sweet potatoes that are really intense in flavor since there's no steaming or boiling in water that can dilute things down. The toasty maple drizzle really is the star of the show, and the pecans are a perfect match for it, although you can substitute another type of nut if you choose.
- Christine, November 2015
Stovetop Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Maple and Pecans
6 tablespoons butter, divided
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (3 to 4 large ones), peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
1 cup milk (not nonfat), divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large (4-quart) saucepan or other heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the sweet potatoes, stir to coat with the butter, and sauté for about five minutes. Add 2/3 cup of the milk and the salt, stir again to coat the sweet potatoes, then cover the pot and turn the heat down to medium-low.
Cook the sweet potatoes, uncovering the pot to stir every 5 minutes, until they are very soft and beginning to fall apart — this will take about 15 minutes total. If at any point the liquid has completely evaporated or the potatoes are beginning to brown on the bottom of the pot, add a splash of water, stir, and turn the heat down a little bit. When the sweet potatoes are finished cooking, turn off the heat.
Mash the potatoes right in the pot with a potato masher. Add the final 1/3 cup of milk and whisk the sweet potatoes vigorously, until whipped and lightened in texture. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt if desired. Spoon into a serving dish.
Heat the remaining two tablespoons of butter with the maple syrup and pecans in a small skillet or saucepan over medium heat. When the mixture begins to bubble vigorously, stir and pour it over the sweet potatoes. Serve hot.
- This recipe works well with both orange-fleshed and lighter-colored sweet potatoes.
- This recipe can be made a few days ahead (do not top with maple and pecan drizzle until serving) and reheated over low heat on the stovetop.