Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Thai Style Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

When I told my mom last weekend that I was desperate to make this dish because I had the recipe bookmarked since November she laughed at me. I believe her exact response was, "Let this be your biggest problem." I understood her mockery and laughed alongside her but nonetheless I was determined to test the recipe and informed her that I was going to prepare it during the week regardless of whatever other food we already had in the refrigerator.

Once I made the dish and fed it to my mom and brother I finally felt good being able to cross it off my list of "recipes to try". Unfortunately the baked potatoes did not receive as good of a review as I was hoping; my brother typically doesn't like potatoes so I wasn't expecting much from him but I thought my mom would enjoy the dish. After eating the baked potato she said that she liked the Thai flavor but it was too sweet. Personally I enjoyed the sweetness, not surprising given my love of yams and sweet potatoes, but I could see her point and agreed that it was a little overwhelming considering how big each potato was. Next time I think I will try using russet potatoes and see if it receives a better reaction.

Thai Style Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
Note: The sweet potatoes can be baked ahead of time and then the insides scooped out for the filling later.
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, washed and scrubbed clean
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1.5" chunk fresh ginger, minced
  • ⅓ cup coconut milk
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 3 tsp Thai red curry paste
  • ¼-½ bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped 
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Rub a little bit of olive oil onto the sweet potatoes and wrap each one tightly in aluminum foil.
  2. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 60-90 minutes, depending on their size, or until they can be easily pierced with a fork. 
  3. Remove from the oven and once cool enough to handle slice each in half and scoop out the flesh, leaving about ¼" around the sides. Set the flesh and skins aside.
  4. In a large skillet, heat up the oil over medium heat and saute the chopped onions until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for another 30 seconds-1 minute, or until it is fragrant.
  6. Add the chopped bell peppers and continue to cook until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  7. Add the coconut milk, lime zest and juice, lemon juice, and red curry paste to the sweet potato flesh and mash until smooth and no lumps remain.
  8. Stir in the sauteed pepper mixture and then the green onions and cilantro. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Lay the sweet potato skins, skin side down, onto a lightly greased baking sheet (or covered in aluminum foil) and fill generously with the mixture. If you want, wet hands slightly and smooth out the tops to create little mounds.
  10. Put the sweet potatoes in the oven with the broiler on and leave inside for 2-3 minutes, or until the filling is heated through and the top becomes slightly dark and charred. Be careful not to over broil!

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