Carbs make me happy (I think carbs make everyone happy). I am just as pleased with a a good mashed potato as I am with a sprinkled cupcake. However, for the sake of a balanced diet, sometimes one must choose the greater of the two. Though I love all carbs equally, all carbs are not created equal.
Recently we had a couple of friends over for dinner and I wanted to make a dinner that was seasonal, comforting, yet a little sophisticated. Sweet potatoes aren’t the most exotic thing in the world, but mash them and mix in roasted root vegetables, and you might just fool people into believing you know what the heck you’re doing. Pair said mashed and roasted with marinated hanger steak and Parmesan roasted Brussels sprouts, and you might even fool yourself.
If you’re in the mood to fool your friends, leave out the part about how easy the whole thing is. No real measuring to do, no strict timing. Scrub all veggies clean and coarsely chop the carrots, parsnips, onion, and garlic. Throw in a glass baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in a 400 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes (or until everything is golden and brown around the edges.
While the veggies were roasting, I got to work on the sweet potatoes. To mash a sweet potato, you must first boil it. Boiling times will vary; getting my sweet potatoes to a mashable softness took longer (about 20-25 minutes v. the 10-12 I saw elsewhere) because my pot was a little small and the potatoes were crowded. Once the potatoes were fork-tender I drained the water, cut into thirds, and transferred them to my stand mixer, leaving the skin on.
Add in a splash of milk or cream (about 1-1 1/2 oz to 4 sweet potatoes) and 2 tablespoons of butter. Mix on low with the paddle attachment until they reach preferred mashed consistency. Pour over roasted root vegetables and stir to combine. I left the roasted veggies in the dish I baked them in for (a) convenience and (b) to save all the flavor from the olive oil, salt, and pepper.