20 November, 2011

Give Thanks with a Swig of Bourbon

It may have something to do with being Irish, but my family firms believes that a glug or two of Bourbon improves the flavour of almost anything. And it ain't bad straight, either. Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, or even Southern Comfort all fit the bill.

I've made Honey-Bourbon Salmon, Blackberry Bourbon Iced Tea, Bourbon and Chocolate Pecan Pie, and even Bourbon and Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce.  My piece de resistance however is now a family favourite  any day of the year (every day if my brothers had their way): Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

And for those who absolutely can't serve Thanksgiving dinner without mini marshmallows, I've included a recipe as well.

 Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes

1 3/4 to 2 lbs sweet potatoes  
1 tsp olive oil  
1/2 cup heavy cream  
1/4 cup bourbon whiskey  
4 Tbsp packed light brown sugar  
2 Tbsp molasses  
1/8 tsp salt  
1.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2.  Lightly rub the sweet potatoes with the olive oil. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending upon their size. Remove from the oven and let sit until cool enough to handle.
3.  Peel the sweet potatoes and transfer the flesh to a large bowl. Add the cream, bourbon, brown sugar, molasses, and salt, and beat on high speed with a hand-held mixer until smooth. Cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

Yields about 4 cups

Sweet Potato Balls
These puff up into delicious, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside morsels.

2 large cans yams
1 Tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup mini marshmallows
1/3 cup honey
1 cup chopped pecans
Salt & Pepper

Mash yams well. Add the salt, pepper marshmallows, and melted butter.

Form into small balls, about the size of a ping pong ball. Lay in concentric circle(s) in a Pyrex pie plate.  Refrigerate, covered, until needed.
3. One-half hour before serving, spoon honey over yams and sprinkle with chopped pecans.
4. Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees until heated.

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