Thursday, December 8, 2011

Spicy Maple Sweet Potatoes with Apple & Bacon

I made this recipe for Thanksgiving instead of the traditional sweet potato casserole (because I hate the marshmallows on top).  Greg and I both enjoy hot & spicy foods, so I used ground smoked habanero powder for a pretty powerful peppery punch.  For a milder heat level, substitute ground cayenne or other pepper of your choice--or smoked paprika for flavor without heat.  Use any apple variety that you like--I used a Granny Smith.  This recipe serves 4 as a side dish, and you can double it to feed more.

2 slices bacon
2 sweet potatoes
1 apple
1/4 cup maple syrup
Dash to 1/8 tsp (depending on desired heat) ground smoked habanero

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Cook bacon until crispy in a large frying pan.  Remove bacon (reserve the bacon fat in the pan) and place on paper towels to absorb excess grease.  While the bacon is frying, wash and dry sweet potatoes, then slice in half lengthwise, and slice each half into 1/4"-thick half-moons.  Add sweet potato slices to the frying pan and saute in the bacon fat until they start to soften and begin to brown lightly.  While the sweet potatoes are cooking, chop the apple into small cubes.  Add apples to the pan, stir in the maple syrup and cook for a few minutes until apple chunks are slightly softened.  Crumble the bacon into the pan, add the ground pepper and stir to combine.  Transfer everything into a casserole dish and bake until the sweet potatoes are cooked through (20 to 30 minutes, less time for "al dente" results).

Zestfully yours,

PS:  If you prefer insanely-hot food, I dare you to use ground naga jolokia pepper powder in this (or any) recipe!

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