When I told my sister that the Air Force is moving us to South Carolina, she did some research and then wrote me this:
Did you know that in South Carolina there is a town called…wait for it……wait for it……MULLINS (our maiden name). Seriously.
Fun facts about Mullins:
- It is 1h 28 minutes from good old Sumter.
- Headline news on their website is that they are under some sort of cyber attack.
- The Police Department works out of the Fire Department.
- It is the tobacco capital of South Carolina….There is even a historic tobacco museum there.
That’s about it. I wonder if we ever visited this place and said our names were Mullins and provided the proper document to prove it (hope you haven’t abandoned all your maiden name forms of i.d.) if they’d give us special treatment. Throw a parade in our honor. Give us access to their tobacco. Let us ride down the fire pole. We could be queens in this town Brianne, QUEENS!! Think about it! We could throw a coup and once we have seized power we could decree the only form of media in this town would be your blog. Think about it. (Am I seriously purposing that we overthrow our namesake town? —–Yes, yes I am and I have no qualms about it. The good citizens of Mullins will love us for it anyway.)
That’s funny :) She is funny! And no, we are not actually planning a coup.
What’s not funny is my temporary banishment from the kitchen. Everything in our house is getting picked up by the Air Force this week and we won’t see it again until April 1.
Of course, when I calculated how many days that was I looked up at Beau and said, “How am I supposed to cook?!”
You better believe I already stored a few pots and pans in my suitcase. Along with some spices. And wooden spoons.
To stave off the desire I am going to have for cooking in my kitchen with my cooking tools, we cooked up a storm this past weekend. And of course, we made one of our all-time favorite side dishes: Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes.
If you love the sweet potato casserole that makes its appearance on Thanksgiving and is topped with bubbling marshmallows and an almost equal sugar to sweet potato ratio, then you may be surprised at the sweet potato’s versatility.
This is a SAVORY side dish. It still has a sweet taste (due to the sweetness of sweet potatoes) but by and by it is savory. No maple syrup. No sugar. No marshmallows.
We have been tweaking this recipe since I can remember. But we finally found it. And we make it at least once a week.
Also, bonus! A sweet potato is loaded with Vitamin C. It is also high in Vitamin A and beta-carotene which is like super food to your skin. Beta-carotene has been linked to fighting the free radicals in our skin which result in aging. The sweet potato is very VERY good to us.
Savory Mashed Sweet Potato Recipe
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grab a baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with tinfoil (for easy clean-up).
Grab two sweet potatoes and scrub them. Then lay them on the baking sheet.
Bake them for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes check them to see if they are oozing juice onto the baking sheet. If they are, they’re done! If not, keep them in there for about 10-15 more minutes.
When they come out let them cool for a little bit.
While they are cooling add 2 cloves of minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a small sauté pan. Sauté the garlic on medium heat until it starts to slightly brown and you can smell it! This will take about 3-5 minutes.
We call this liquid gold in our house. Because, I mean…
Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, remove the skin from the potato. It should peel right off, like so:
There are a variety of ways you can mash these. You can add them to your mixer or use a handheld mixer to whip them up. You can add them to a bowl and use a masher. Or, one of our favorites (which gets them really creamy and smooth), is to use a food mill (and to all you who asked, this is our FAVORITE food mill —> here. We’ve been using it for years!) But use whatever you have!
Mash or mix until you reach your level of consistency.
Now it is time to add THE SECRET INGREDIENT!!!
1 tablespoon of FRESH thyme. The thyme is really what brings in a complexity of flavor and adds that savory taste to these mashers. It is so yummy.
Then add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, 3 tablespoons of butter and the garlic and oil from the sauté pan.
Give it a good mix. Taste and add more salt or pepper if needed. Or, if you want a bit of heat add 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes.
We like to serve these with just about anything. Chicken, steak, the best pot roast recipe (all of which we made this past weekend!).
Your body will thank you because you got some nutrition in AND these are paleo :)