|sweet potatoes tonight|
My twenty-five-cent per pound sweet potatoes are delicious the way I cook them. Look at the "juice" in the bottom of the pan. More about that another day.
*Wash the sweet potatoes. Mine today needed little more than a rub as I rinsed them.
*Lay them on a dish towel. They need to be dry to continue. I have done this all sorts of ways, but they seem to dry faster lying on a towel. If you put them on the counter, on a plate, or in a pan, they sit just sit in puddles of draining water.
*Buying you more time for the sweet potatoes to dry, you now need to trim anything that suits your fancy--dark places, the ends, whatever. If you don't cut anything, then take a fork and stick it in three times across the top of the sweet potato as it is lying in the pan. That hurts my hand, so I just take a knife and slice across the top three times. This is to cut the skin, so you don't have to make deep cuts, just shallow cuts to break the skin. You do NOT want an exploding sweet potato in your oven.
*Put a tablespoon of olive oil or any oil in a small saucer. Pick up a sweet potato and stick your fingers of the other hand in the olive oil. As you rub the oil on the sweet potato, you will get olive oil all over your hands. Just go with it and wipe the oil off instead of washing your hands. You just softened your hands as you cooked.
*My neighbor used bacon grease that was sitting in an iron skillet on the stove to oil her sweet potatoes. I may try that one day, using the half-pint of bacon grease sitting in the refrigerator.
*My 94-year-old neighbor taught me how to do all this. She used three iron skillets and an iron griddle to bake them in the oven. They are best in an iron skillet. However, I spent a lot of effort trying not to lift heavy things today, doctor's orders. Now, I just use an aluminum pan or a broiler pan with a piece of parchment paper in the bottom so I don't have to deal with oozed out and then cooked on sweet potato.
*Turn the oven to 350 F.
*When you choose a pan and use parchment paper, let the paper run up the sides of the pans so that the sweet potato "juice" won't run off the paper and stick to the pan.
*Put the pans of sweet potatoes in a 350 F oven. Depending on the size of the sweet potato, bake for approximately 1 hour. The way I test for doneness is to take a pot holder and sort of squeeze the sweet potato. When it yields to a gentle squeeze, it's done. The sweet potato will be very soft. If you have different sizes of sweet potatoes, you can removed from the oven the ones that are done, leaving the larger ones to cook a bit longer.
*By cooking a week's worth of sweet potatoes, I save on electricity. Besides, it is just as easy to cook a dozen as it is to cook two sweet potatoes. Of course, if you only have room in the oven for one or two sweet potatoes, that is good, too.
*Please don't microwave! The flavor is just not as good.
*I have used the baked sweet potatoes as a substitute for pumpkin in pies and pumpkin bread. Try it; it's delicious.
Georgia Jet is the best and sweetest sweet potato around. Get these if you can. However, you must not buy them for storage. They just don't last the winter.
Beauregard is the variety I buy because they are next best after Georgia Jet. I never need sugar or butter.
At the grocery store, when I ask about the variety, even the produce manager never knows. That is why I sought the farmer. Some sweet potatoes are so pale and tasteless and stringy that I just will not eat them.
I baked four chicken breasts in the oven in a large cooking bag alongside a turkey in the turkey-sized turkey bag and 12 sweet potatoes. Half the sweet potatoes and all the turkey except the breast went home with exbf. The giblets have been cooked for the hens. I thought dinner was delicious--turkey, sweet potatoes, field peas with snaps.
Do you bake sweet potatoes like I do? Rub with oil? Are you ever aware of the variety of sweet potato that you buy?