We had a rare Thanksgiving feast in our home this year. It was wonderful not to spend a day in the car, even though we missed being with our families. Perhaps the best thing was knowing that I could eat everything that was on the table without worry of gluten contamination.
We had an enormous heritage turkey from our farm share – we were initially intimidated by the 16lb bird (we ordered an 8-10lb bird), but now I’m thankful for all the leftovers we have today. I also made my first gluten-free gravy thanks to GlutenFreeGirl, and it was perhaps the best gravy I’ve ever had. This morning I made a loaf of Pamela’s gluten-free bread so that we can have sandwiches all weekend, and the carcass awaits transformation into turkey and wild rice soup. It’s a good week for eating.
Of all the delicious things on our Thanksgiving table, I think everyone agreed that this sweet potato crisp was the winner, and nearly all of it had disappeared by the end of the meal. I love sweet potatoes and am happy to peel and roast some up with cumin and chipotle puree for a simple weeknight dinner. Mark is a bit more skeptical about sweet potatoes, but he loved this dish too – though what’s not to like about anything served with a bacon-infused crumble topping?!
This dish is the perfect balance of savory and sweet. By baking the potatoes in their skins, their sweet flavor is concentrated (I hate the watery taste of boiled sweets), and they are really easy to peel with your fingers once they’ve cooled off slightly. The puree on its own tastes better than just about any sweet potatoes I’ve had on thanksgiving, but the spicy, slightly sweet crumble on top makes the dish. Instead of using butter only in the crumble, I used some of the reserved bacon fat that I keep in the fridge, and the flavor and aroma of bacon are definitely there in the finished dish, and the combination of flavors and textures are holiday perfection. I think this one will grace our table for years to come.
5 sweet potatoes
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, divided
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
dash of allspice
a few grates of nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
2 T butter, divided
2 T bacon fat, chilled
3/4 cup pecans, chopped fine
1/3 cup gluten free flour mix
1/3 cup gluten free oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Wash each sweet potato, then poke a few holes in each potato with a fork. Place the potatoes on a sheet pan, and roast for 40 minutes, or until tender all the way through when tested with a fork. Remove potatoes from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
- When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel the skins off with your fingers, and place the flesh of the potatoes in your food processor bowl. Add 1 tsp of the cinnamon, 1/4 tsp cloves, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 T of the butter, and 1/4 tsp kosher salt. Puree the mixture in the food processor until totally smooth.
- Butter a 1 qt baking dish, and pour the sweet potatoes into the the dish. You can now stash the sweet potatoes in the fridge and chill if you’re making the dish in advance (if you do chill before finishing, gently rewarm the sweets in the microwave before baking with topping). Otherwise, proceed to the crisp topping and baking.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the gluten free flour and oats, pecans, brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, dash of allspice, and a few grates of nutmeg. Stir with a fork to combine the ingredients. Add the butter and chilled bacon fat (it should be in a solid-ish form to start), and blend the ingredients with a pastry blender or a fork. When the fats and dry ingredients are combined thoroughly, you should have a crumbly topping.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the crumble topping over the re-warmed sweet potatoes and bake for 20-30 minutes, until the topping has browned. Serve piping hot.
234 cal/serving, 100 cal from fat, 11.4g fat, 10mg cholesterol, 135mg sodium, 470mg potassium, 31g carbs, 5g fiber, 3.7g protein