Without fail, Thanksgiving season conversations bring up the topic of sweet potatoes. For some reason, this creates a debate about which type of sweet potato dish is best – the sweet casserole with marshmallows or the savory dish with herbs and butter.
I’m staunchly in the savory sweet potato camp, and no amount of cinnamon, sugar or marshmallow can make me change my mind. This usually means I’m left feeling jealous of the pretty mounds of toasted mallow and pecans on everyone else’s plates.
Our Test Kitchen manager Pat is the complete opposite. She loves bringing out the natural sweetness of sweet potatoes by adding cinnamon and marshmallows in the typical casserole application. She likes savory sweet potatoes alright, but wouldn’t choose that style over a sweet one.
So how do we please everyone at our Thanksgiving dinner? Is it possible to please the sweet AND savory crowds without making two different dishes? I mean, we’re already so busy and cooking so much on Thanksgiving that we don’t want to add more work, but we never want to serve something our guests don’t like, right?
The perfect solution came to us in the Test Kitchen one day. We were talking about serving baked sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving instead of a casserole, and the question of how we would top them arose. At the same time, Pat said cinnamon butter and I said garlic herb butter. Voila! Compound butters are so easy to make, why not serve both and let your guests choose?
We love this innovative idea so much, we think it would work for Thanksgiving and beyond. These sweet potatoes are so easy and the butter is something you can prepare days ahead of time, so it would be great for a weeknight meal or a dinner party with friends. And if you were to invite Pat and me to dinner, we’d both be satisfied with our sweet potatoes and grateful to our thoughtful host.
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