I’m getting more and more excited every day as we get closer to Thanksgiving. We’ve actually had weather in the low 80’s with overnight lows below 70. It’s been cloudy and rainy all week. It almost feels like fall.
And have I mentioned a million times that I adore Thanksgiving? I love food. Eating is awesome, especially when I’ve made something amazingly delicious. It’s pretty much the only thing that makes me feel smart. And when I get to share it with all the people I love, that makes everything especially outstanding.
These sweet potatoes make me feel like a genius. I’ve served them for a few Thanksgivings, and they are my favorite sweet potato recipe. This recipe is simple yet sophisticated. They’re also a breeze to make, and when you’ve got a bunch of stuff coming out of your kitchen, keeping things easy is the best option.
Beautiful bite size chunks of lovely roasted sweet potatoes get caramelized on the bottom in a hot oven, and soft and sweet in the middle. They’re topped off with crunchy, buttery, toasted macadamia nuts, then smothered in a spicy cayenne, maple syrup and butter glaze. The whole thing will make you sing. They’re so much better than canned yams, it’s not even funny.
If you want to be an extra genius, peel and chop your sweet potatoes the day before, then store them in a zip top bag in the fridge until they’re ready to go in the oven.
I haven’t started planning my menu yet, and I probably won’t make the final decisions until the week before. Sweet potatoes will definitely be on the table. Maybe I’ll bring back this favorite one more time.
- 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 and line a baking sheet with foil.
- Spread your sweet potato chunks in a single layer on the baking sheet, then drizzle on the oil and season with salt and pepper, and optional cayenne (see note). Toss gently with your hands to coat each piece in oil.
- Roast the sweet potatoes for about 40 minutes or until soft. Stab one with a fork to test it.
- While the sweet potatoes are roasting, lightly toast the mac nuts by heating them in a dry skillet over medium heat for about five minutes. They will start to smell toasty and turn a bit golden.
- In a small sauce pan over low heat, heat butter, maple syrup, and cayenne. You can let it bubble for a few minutes if you want to thicken it up a bit, but don't let the butter burn.
- After you remove the pan from the oven, carefully transfer the sweet potatoes to your serving dish. Sprinkle over the nuts and pour on the maple butter mixture. Toss lightly.
- If you like things extra spicy, you can also season the sweet potatoes with a dash of cayenne before they go in the oven.