4725mag eats: our foolproof and potluck perfect holiday side dish - brown sugar + nutmeg sweet potato mash

If you're anything like us and our family + friends, the holidays are all about sharing the responsibility and more to the point, the work. No one is ever expected to provide an entire feast from start to finish. If you're invited, you're bringing something. Even if it is just a six pack of beer.

This is one of my go-to dishes for these occasions. It is easy to make, its flavors are warming and apt for the season and it feels indulgent but you're still filling your daily vitamin A, C and fiber quotas. 

Ingredients, serves 12:
- 4 large sweet potatoes, about albs
- 1/2 a cup of raw brown sugar
- 3 tbsp of butter or if you're making this vegan, veggie shortening
- 1 tbsp of freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 tbsp of freshly ground ginger
- 1 tbsp of cinnamon
- 1 tsp of coarsely ground pepper
- 1 tsp of sea salt 

Equipment needed to make this recipe, and life in the kitchen in general, easier:
- Hand held blender and large mixing bowl, or a food processor
- 2 QT baking dish
- Baking sheet 
- Mini grater for the fresh ginger and nutmeg 

Heat your oven to 350 degrees, wash any filth off your sweet potatoes and then prod those suckers generously with a fork. Once your oven has reached 350, cook them on your baking sheet for 35-45 minutes, or until they're soft to the touch. These look a little shriveled and unappetizing (especially that phallic one), but bear with me - the more wrinkled they are, the easier it is to literally tear their skins off to leave you with mashable, soft and brilliant orange sweet potato meat. Just let them cool for 15 minutes first though so you don't also lose the skin off your fingers trying to handle these hot puppies. 

Besides, this gives you time to portion out your nutmeg, ginger, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Feel free to pop to Safeway in your sweats to buy the ground nutmeg and fresh ginger if grating it yourself feels (rightly so) like too much work. 

Now, melt the butter in the microwave for approx. 30 seconds - or the stove top if you're so, more health consciously inclined. When it is fully molten, stir in the nutmeg, ginger, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and pepper.

Once that's done, the potatoes will have sufficiently cooled and it's time to tear their skins off. This will be super easy to do, they will literally fall off in your hands. It will take about 5 minutes, it will feel oddly satisfying and it will set you up for the final, hands-on stage in making this dish. 

Pro, *ahem*, tip: If you're using a hand held blender to whip up this mash, just add one naked spud to the molten butter and spice mix at a time. Going at this pace will ensure you don't get any big chunks that aren't properly and smoothly mixed in. 

If you're using a food processor, you have the luxury of throwing everything in at once. 

Now, spoon your deliciously whipped brown sugar + nutmeg sweet potato mash into your baking dish and finish her off at 350 for another 30-40 minutes for the top to brown ever so slightly. 

As this magic happens, get your glad-rags on before topping this off with another good crack of black pepper and heading out to your gathering. 

Final "pro" tip: Don't forget to take a serving spoon with you. No matter how wonderful your host, they do not have 12 extra big spoons hanging around their kitchen. This minimal effort on your part will give them one last thing to think about and will be super appreciated. 

We hope you and yours enjoy this as much as me and mine to. Bon appetit!


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