Updating the classics
Tweak tradition by adding flavor boosts to side dishes
Everyone's favorite: Not really, but it's a Thanksgiving classic. Adding sweet onion and dried mushrooms to the milk and letting it steep will yield a richer flavor. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
6 or 7 medium-size sweet potatoes, about 3 pounds total
18 regular size marshmallows (about 6 ounces), quartered
1/2 teaspoon mild curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 to 2 tablespoons mild red Thai or Indian curry paste to taste
3 to 4 tablespoons chopped chives
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put potatoes on a large baking sheet. Bake until a fork pierces them easily, about 1 hour. Let cool until you can handle them.
2. Meanwhile, mix the marshmallow pieces with the curry powder in a small bowl until pieces are nicely coated. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt; mix again. Mix coconut milk and curry paste in another bowl with an immersion blender, hand mixer or potato masher until smooth.
3. Slice warm potatoes lengthwise in half. Scoop out the soft flesh with a small spoon (I like a serrated grapefruit spoon here), leaving a 1/4-inch thick potato shell; place in the coconut milk mixture. Beat or mash the potato flesh into the coconut milk until very smooth and light. Season to taste, usually about ¾ teaspoon salt. Stir in the chives.
4. Arrange the potato shells on the baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Dollop the mashed potatoes with a spoon back into the shells, filling them evenly. Spray or brush the tops lightly with a little olive oil. (Recipe can be prepared to this point up to several hours in advance; refrigerate covered.)
5. Arrange marshmallow pieces over the potatoes. Bake until centers are heated through and marshmallows are golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
Per serving: 133 calories, 3 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 26 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 275 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.
Green bean casserole
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes