January 10, 2011

Not Just for Thanksgiving, Part 2: Baked Sweet Potatoes with Coconut and Pecans, Revisited

In addition to a roast turkey, stuffing, potatoes and gravy, rolls and other yummy stuff, we decided to fix a sweet potato dish.  Thanksgiving or not, sweet potatoes just seem to go well with this sort of meal.  Besides, this provided me a good opportunity to revisit one of my original recipes.

I first wrote about Baked Sweet Potatoes with Coconut and Pecans a few months ago.  In preparing the dish this time around, I came up with an idea for making it even better.  I've gone back and edited the original post to reflect this improvement, but I'm also taking the opportunity to present it again.

In the original version, the dish simply cooked in a covered Dutch oven.  This resulted in a moist, flavorful dish, but as I prepared it this time, I realized it was perhaps too moist, since the lid prevented any of the cooking liquid from escaping.  I realized that taking off the lid partway through would let some of the liquid cook off, which would thicken the sauce and make it more flavorful via carmelization.  Sure enough, baking it for 45 minutes, removing the lid and baking it an extra 30 minutes resulted in a better, more flavorful version of the recipe. 

So, here's the new, improved version of this dish.  Enjoy.  We sure have!

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Coconut and Pecansyield = 6-8 ample servings4       pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
1/2    cup chopped pecans
1/2    cup flaked, sweetened coconut + 2 tablespoons for serving
1/3    cup granulated sugar
1/3    cup packed light brown sugar
1/2    teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4    teaspoon salt
1/2    cup coconut milk
1/4    cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Prepare a large Dutch oven with cooking spray.

Add sweet potatoes to the Dutch oven.  Mix together pecans, sugars, cinnamon and salt and spread atop the sweet potatoes.  Add the coconut milk and melted butter.  Cover tightly and bake for 45 minutes, then remove the lid and bake uncovered for an additional 30 minutes.  Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with two tablespoons coconut and serve.

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