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November 24, 2006

Chipotle Sweet Potatoes

Well, it's The Day After Thanksgiving, here in the US (I doubt that I have any readers outside the US, but it never hurts [_] to remind outselves that the Web is international (and anyone who'd like to specify the rule that deletes the subject [_] of the preceding infinitive clause is invited to submit their version)).

Anyway, I had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with my old friends Anthony Aristar and Helen Aristar Dry, the co-moderators of the LINGUIST LIST, who live in Ann Arbor and who are usually so busy that their friends can only snatch a few moments with them. Since they're real linguists, they're great cooks, and the dinner was wonderful.

My own contribution to the pot-luck included a side dish that I'd like to recommend here, since it solves a problem faced by anybody (like me) who's become entranced with Chiles Chipotles en Adobo, namely what to do with the chiles remaining in the can.

Chiles chipotles (which are merely smoked chiles jalapeños, though it seems they only pick very hot ones to smoke) are so hot that no recipe I've ever seen for a family-sized group ever uses more than a 2 or 3, while there are always 5 or more chiles in any small (7 oz) can that I've been able to find in groceries.

The side dish I recommend is absolutely perfect for US Thanksgiving, but also for Christmas/Kwanzaa/Chanukah: Chipotle Sweet Potatoes.

It's originally from Alton Brown's Good Eats program, and can be found on the Food Channel. It's among the simplest recipes I've ever seen.

Here it is, in toto:

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2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 whole canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
1 teaspoon adobo sauce from can of peppers
1/2 teaspoon salt

Put cubed potatoes into steamer basket and place steamer into a large pot of simmering water that is no closer than 2 inches from the bottom of the basket. Allow to steam for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.

Add butter to potatoes and mash with potato masher. Add peppers, sauce, and salt and continue mashing to combine. Serve immediately.

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I used 3 large sweet potatoes, 3 tbsp butter, and 2 chopped chiles chipotles (plus adobo to taste), and I'm here to tell you that:

  • the ratio of 1 tbsp butter per large sweet potato is correct
  • you don't need to keep the steamer bottom 2 inches from the water
  • you don't need to serve it immediately; they can be kept warm in the oven until needed
  • salt can be added by the guests (though it does need some salt)
  • linguists like it hot, but non-linguists might not
  • it's very good.

Posted by jlawler at November 24, 2006 03:56 PM


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