I know, I just posted the original version of this recipe, but I played with it a bit last night, and I got an update-worthy reaction from my hubby. Just so you understand a little about why I say that, you should know that he is no pushover when it comes to what he likes to eat, and being a left-brained engineer type, he is definitely not a man of anywhere near as many words as his right-brained wife! You see, Bob’s mom was an absolutely amazing cook and she set quite a standard for me to keep…. But she was infinitely patient with me- it took her several years, but she graciously taught me what amounted to a “Care & Feeding of a Southern Gentleman” course.
Nowadays my sweet guy is generally quite happy with the things I make, but the essence of his male-engineerness means he isn’t always terribly liberal or straightforward about verbalizing his thoughts on the subject. A perfect example is what he told me on our 5th wedding anniversary- with a completely straight face, and in all seriousness, he said, “You’re a much better cook than you were five years ago.” At the time I didn’t quite know what to make of that, but now I know it was, indeed, high praise.
So last night, when he got a spoonful of these potatoes, and I got another supreme compliment, I knew this one was another winner! Oh- what he said was, “This is also a restaurant worthy recipe!” (The “also” refers to what he said about the first version of this recipe- the fries with this spice blend on them.) So I knew I needed to share it. I hope and think Roselyn would be happy about what I’ve done with the lessons she gave me. : ]
Anyway, to make my mashed version from last night, start by preparing the brown sugar and spice blend, as given here, with this addition:
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed
Next, bake about about 1.5 to 2 pounds of sweet potatoes until they’re very soft, scoop the flesh out of the skin, mash them up very well, and add:
1/4 to 1/2 cup orange juice
Now, just blend it all together very well, put the mixture in a casserole sprayed with non-stick spray and bake, in a 375F oven, for 30 minutes or so, just until piping hot.
I mentioned that I thought maybe the cayenne pepper could be upped a bit- to 1/4th of a teaspoon, but Bob said, “No, it’s just right.” You can adjust as you like.