24 November 2007

Sweet Potatoes with Bacon and Pecans



This weekend I have been reviewing the Thanksgiving holiday. This year was good in so many ways. There were many things to be thankful for and the holiday itself was laid back and relaxing.

I have also been revisiting the food. One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving dinner is the leftovers. I love the nostalgia of a cold turkey sandwich on white bread. It reminds me of Thanksgivings when I was a child. I also revisited the turkey as I made soup yesterday with carrots and celery that didn't get used in dinner preparation on Thursday.

Best of all the leftovers has been the sweet potatoes I made this year. They were fantastic! I used a recipe that I cut out of magazine several years ago and have been enjoying ever since. Though I missed the opportunity to post this before Thanksgiving, the holiday most people associate with sweet potatoes, I think this recipe would be equally good, even better, served with a baked ham for a festive dinner or even a holiday brunch. So, I figure, better late than never!

This great side dish is pretty and bursting with nutrition. Sweet potatoes are among the healthiest of all vegetables. They are high in potassium, fiber, vitamin A and beta-carotene. They also contains vitamin C and calcium. With that in mind I have enjoyed this unusual recipe even more. It offers a slightly different twist on the way sweet potatoes are usually prepared. It balances the sweetness of many sweet potato recipes by adding the savory elements of onion, bacon and chicken broth to add depth to the flavor of the brown sugar and the vegetable itself. I hope you like it as much as I do.


Sweet Potatoes with Bacon and Pecan

2 slices bacon
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 ½ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch chunks (about 8 cups)
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup water
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
¼ cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels reserving 1 or 2 teaspoons of the bacon grease in the skillet. Add chopped onions and cook until translucent.

Add the sweet potato chunks, chicken broth, water, salt and pepper to the skillet. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 or 6 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are crisp tender.

Sprinkle the brown sugar over the sweet potatoes and simmer, stirring frequently and reducing the liquid for another 5 or 6 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender and much of the liquid has evaporated. Crumble bacon across the top and stir it into the sweet potatoes along with the toasted pecan pieces.

Serve and enjoy!

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