Sweet Potato

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Posted in Sweet Potato, Vegetables on November 18th, 2010 by admin – Be the first to comment

The salad place I’ve been eating lunch at quite often had mashed sweet potatoes the other day. When I went back yesterday hoping for more they were gone, meaning it time to learn to make my own.

I’m wary of working with sweet potatoes and yams. I love them, but they mock me by refusing to cook properly. Really, all potatoes seem to have the power to just say, “Nope, don’t feel like being cooked today.” They also have the same problem as macaroni and cheese – there’s a billion variations and most of them are trying to do something unique to justify being yet another recipe for something you’re already expected to know how to make. I went with a really simple recipe from cooks.com because it was the only one that starts with boiling, not baking, the sweet potatoes.


  • 5 or 6 large sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup (more or less, to taste)

I cut this way back to two sweet potatoes and even that’s left me with more leftovers than I can eat by myself. (Andrew’s not a sweet potato person.)

Peel potatoes and cut into quarters. Simmer in a large 3-4 quart pot of water with 2 tsp. salt added to water.

These things are quite a pain to peel. I may have been nice enough to take the ugly pumpkin, but I’m grabbing the smoothest, roundest sweet potatoes I can find.

I generally ignore the clock when I make mashed potatoes. It’s the only way around their not-cooking tricks. Eventually they’ll have to boil soft, which is why I preferred a boiling recipe. Plus who mashes a baked potato? That’s like scrambling an omelet (on purpose…)

I mashed them up with my potato masher and saw a noticeable amount of stringy bits. I assume this is just a trait of sweet potatoes, but the ones I had for lunch were perfectly smooth. Advice on the internet was mostly about how to pick them out non-stringy to begin with but as for after the fact, I found one mention of using a hand mixer so the “strings” would stick to the beaters. I gave it a shot and while not perfect it easily brought the batch down to an acceptable level of stringiness.

The next problem is that they were on the “wet” side. I probably overcooked them, or didn’t drain well enough. Back to the internet, the advice was just to put them back in the pot over medium-low heat and keep stirring so they don’t burn.

I let them “simmer” until the rest of my dinner was cooked, and then stirred in the end of a stick of butter and a drizzle of honey. Perfect.