Nov 17, 2010

It's Hard To Take the Sweet Out of Sweet Potatoes

I'm not ready for Thanksgiving.  Didn't even realize it is next week until a co-worker said something on Monday.  By now, I've usually shopped for non-perishables and written down my menu.  The only thing I have done so far: bought oil for the turkey fryer.

Don't know how I got behind.

Don't know why I'm worried about it.  We have the same dishes every year!  Each year I get starry-eyed and full of lustful sighs thinking about something new I'll make, switching out this for that.  But I rarely act on it.  We've been eating pretty much the same dishes for Thanksgiving for a decade or more.  

It's hard to shun those old favorites.  And like me, my family actually enjoys--looks forward to-- the dishes we had last year.  And the year before that.  And before that.

So all the letters to Food Network craziness of "what am I going to serve?" bypasses me. 

There's something to be said for my cozy little yearly rut.

Not to be a liar...we have changed a couple of things.  The traditional green bean casserole has been nixed and roasted broccoli spears w/ garlic Parmesan butter has taken over as the green dish.  And there was the year we brined a turkey (Alton Brown recipe & method).  Which we aren't doing again.  I know people swear by this, but we just didn't get it.  About 5 years ago, we equipped ourselves to fry a turkey and never looked back.    

But the sweet potatoes...I can't mess with those. Unless I want a riot.  The sweet potatoes have to be one of two dishes.  And whichever one doesn't make the Turkey Day cut gets made a week or two later.  You know, to be fair.

They're both sweet sweet potatoes...with sugar and pecans.  (But not marshmallows because I don't like that.)

Just once, I'd like to have not sweet sweet potatoes.  Like the one below: Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Onions with Rosemary and Parmesan from  It's savory and beautiful and can be made ahead.  And since Thanksgiving foods seem to love to jump in the oven, I like to reheat this in a skillet on the stove top.

More Thanksgiving sweet potato recipes:
Great-grandma's Sweet Potato Crunch
Praline Yams

Fall Sweet Potato Toss

You'll need:
2-3 pounds of sweet potatoes
1 large red onion
canola or vegetable oil
salt & pepper
Parmesan cheese

You'll also need 2 pans for this. 
Wait!  Stay right there.
I know when I see something like that, my first reaction is:
No, I don't need 2 pans because I'm not washing all that.

But it's easier this way, I promise.  And the foil helps with clean-up.
So...on one pan, toss sliced red onion, oil, salt, and pepper together then spread in one layer.
On the second pan, toss together sweet potatoes, oil, garlic, salt, & pepper.  Also spread out in one layer. 
Put both pans in a 375 degree oven.
They'll roast for a total of 30-35 minutes, but you'll need to toss them every 10 minutes.

After the first 10.

Second 10.

And after 10 more...
These are ready.
Actually, my onions are more than ready, aren't they?
I've already picked out the ones along the edges that I really burned.
Didn't want you to have to see that. 

Like I said, one great thing about this recipe is that the onions and potatoes can be made ahead.  These were made before I left for work.
Where I smelled like roasted onion all day.
Later that evening, I reheated them and finished off the dish.

Toss the onions and potatoes with chopped rosemary and Parmesan cheese.
I think this is one great looking, Thanksgiving worthy dish.
If you're looking for a not sweet sweet potato side, give this a try.

Linked to:

Tip Day Thursday Carnival @ Around My Family Table
Saturday's Party @ Recipes of a Cheapskate

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Onions With Rosemary And Parmesan
adapted from

epicurious says: “An inspired mix of ingredients in a savory sweet potato dish. This can be prepared four hours ahead and rewarmed in the oven 10 minutes before serving.”

I say: “If you are desperately out of oven space, like for Thanksgiving, the potatoes and onions also reheat well in a skillet on the stove top.”

2-3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
8 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons very scant teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 large red onion halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½-1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

Set 1 rack in center and 1 rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 375F. Line 2 large baking sheets with foil. Place sweet potatoes on 1 sheet; drizzle with 6 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with garlic, 1 scant teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat, then spread in single layer. Place onions on second baking sheet; drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with remaining scant teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat, then spread in single layer.

Place sheet with potatoes on center rack and sheet with onions on lower rack in oven. Roast until potatoes are tender and onions are tender and brown around edges, stirring every 10 minutes, about 30-35 minutes total.

Can be prepared ahead. Rewarm uncovered in 375F oven about 10 minutes or in a skillet on the stove top.

Combine sweet potatoes and onions in shallow bowl. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and rosemary and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste (if needed) and serve.

Makes 6 servings.


  1. I'm like you, my family does not want Thanksgiving changed, ever.

  2. Can I come to your house for Thanksgiving? No one in my family even likes sweet potatoes except for me and my MIL (and she's not coming this year!) I confess to liking the sweet versions and even the ones with marshmallows. However, I'm all over this version with the parmesan, onions, and garlic. Sounds good!

    P.S. If it makes you feel better I have no tday plans yet and haven't done any shopping either. We're not even sure if we're staying here or going to Ohio yet.

  3. I've never understood the appeal of sweet potatoes. It's probably because I've only ever been served really really sweet dishes. That's not my thing. I should try this. Maybe I'd like it.

  4. I think most people rarely chanage up their menues. Like you, we all love the old favorites.

    Sorry to have "had you going" about your blondies/brownies. I should have written a better post. I was really tired, but I wanted to write about them. It didn't all come together like I would have liked. The post, not the bars, those were great!

    My son in Arizona wants to deep fry a turkey for Thanksgiving. He doesn't have a fryer, but we do. I think he wants us to bring it from Nevada. LOL He's never had a deep fried turkey!

  5. I change everything from start to finish every year - its a tradition with us!

  6. WOW! That looks like it tastes amazing. I'm coming fro Thursday Tips. Maybe when you get a chance you can stop by Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  7. Holy cow, these sweet potatoes look good! I vastly prefer savory sweet potato dishes (to those sugary bombs) so this dish is perfect for me. I wonder if my family can handle a new dish this year?! LOL

  8. I like them this way so much better. Well, I DO like them SWEET but it adds SO much unnecessary calories! This way looks wonderful! Thanks!

  9. Well I am on board with you. Love love sweet potatoes but that is nver my assignmnet for Thanksgiving. We go to my lin laws and they alwasy want my green bean casserole. But I still get my fill of sweet potatoes when I am there for the big dinner!

  10. what a great way to cook sweet potatoes. Thanks for sharing.


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