With Thanksgivukkah around the corner, I have already been bombarded with requests for my favorite sweet potato recipes from my Jewish cookbooks. Here are my four favorites: my 100-year-old mother’s standard sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and pineapples from the original Jewish Holiday Kitchen, a southwestern tsimmes with cilantro stuffed in Anaheim chilies from chef Lenard Rubin, a curried sweet potato latke from the New Prospect Café in Park Slope Brooklyn, both from Jewish Cooking in America and Moroccan Sweet Potatoes and Vegetables from Joan Nathan’s Jewish Holiday Cookbook. All of these are great side dishes for turkey.
Of course, when I make my sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) this year on November 27, the first night of Hanukkah, I’ll fill them with apples, pecan pie filling, or maybe speculoos spread. Happy Thanksgivukkah!
Sweet-Potato Tsimmes with Pineapples
from The Jewish Holiday Kitchen
4 sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons butter or pareve margarine
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Paprika or marshmallows
1. Boil sweet potatoes in their jackets until cooked. When done, cool, peel, and mash. Stir in the butter or margarine. Fold in pineapple, salt, and brown sugar.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3. Grease a medium casserole and spoon in mixture. Either sprinkle with paprika or, for a sweeter taste, place marshmallows on top, pressing gently into the sweet potatoes, and cook 10 minutes or until the marshmallows are golden brown.
Serves 6 to 8.
Newish Jewish: Southwestern Tsimmes Stuffed in Chilies
From Jewish Cooking in America
1/4 pound pitted prunes
6 medium peeled carrots, cut in chunks
3 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and diced
6 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
12 green or red Anaheim chilies
1. Mix all the ingredients except the cilantro and the chilies in a greased 3-quart baking dish.
2. Cover and bake in a preheated 250-degree oven, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, but not mushy, about 2 hours. Let cool.
3. Using a fork or a potato masher, mash the mixture coarsely with the chopped cilantro to facilitate stuffing into the chilies. This can be prepared a day ahead.
4. Place the chilies on a cookie sheet in a preheated 450-degree oven. Roast for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally, or until the skin is black. Remove to a plastic or paper bag and leave until cool. Peel off the skin.
5. With a sharp knife, make a slit from the bottom of the stem to the point of each chili.
6. Gently scrape out the seeds and rinse the inside of the chili.
7. Pat each chili dry and stuff with chopped tsimmes so that each chili is slightly overstuffed, causing the slit in the chili to open, exposing the filling.
8. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Alternately, you can merely put the stuffing mixture in a greased flat casserole, approximately 9- by 13-inch, and bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes or until it is warm.
Yield: 10 to 12 servings
Curried Sweet Potato Latkes
From Jewish Cooking in America
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk (approximately)
Peanut oil for frying
1. Grate the sweet potatoes coarsely. In a separate bowl mix the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, cayenne pepper, curry powder, cumin, and salt and pepper.
2. Add the eggs and just enough milk to the dry ingredients to make a stiff batter. Add the potatoes and mix. The batter should be moist but not runny; if too stiff, add more milk.
3. Heat 1/4 inch of peanut oil in a frying pan until it is barely smoking. Drop in the batter by tablespoons and flatten. Fry over medium-high heat several minutes on each side until golden. Drain on paper towels and serve.
Yield: 16 three-inch pancakes
Moroccan Sweet Potatoes and Vegetables
From Joan Nathan’s Jewish Holiday Cookbook
4 large onions, sliced thickly
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
1 pound acorn squash, pumpkin, or carrots, peeled, cubed and microwaved for 5 minutes
1-2 sweet potatoes or yams, peeled cubed, and microwaved for 5 minutes
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9 by 13-inch casserole.
2. Sauté the onions in the oil until golden.
3. Put the chickpeas and onions in the bottom of the casserole. Cover with the remaining vegetables and raisins. Sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon, and add a little oil, if desired.
4. Bake for 30 minutes, covered, and another 20 minutes uncovered, or until well browned.
Serves 10 to 12 as a side dish.
Joan Nathan is Tablet Magazine’s food columnist and the author of 10 cookbooks including King Solomon’s Table: a Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World.