SWEET POTATOES NEVER SMELLED SO SWEET
We’re about to put the sweet back in sweet potatoes! This is one of those occasions I wish phone and computer screens had smell-o-vision because these sweet potatoes smell so good they should be a candle. A lot of folks have a tradition of topping their sweet potatoes with marshmallows, but I think this recipe will make you a convert. It doesn’t get any better than the gooey, buttery sauce that coats the sweet potatoes in a warm embrace.
This recipe is best made in a heavy duty pan to really get a good caramelization on the sweet potatoes. I suggest using a Dutch oven or cast iron skillet as we will be cooking low and slow. I can’t imagine a kitchen without my favorite Lodge skillet or Le Creuset Dutch Oven; cast iron will last you a lifetime if taken care of properly. Although our cooking method is on the stovetop, the sturdier construction of these two particular vessels means they can be transferred seamlessly to the oven if you need to keep your dish warm.
TIME TO GET TOASTY
Toasting the pecans will give them a nice crunchy texture that will be a good contrast to the soft sweet potatoes. My kids go nuts for this dish as it tastes more like dessert to them than a vegetable. It’s a great way to get some veggie servings in for those picky eaters. Pro tip: if you’re one of those people who likes to knock out what you can the night before, you can definitely do some prep for this dish. Go ahead and chop up your sweet potato slices and store them in an airtight resealable bag in the refrigerator so you can get straight to cooking on the big day! You can also measure out your spices, combine them, and set them aside for another jumpstart.
Skillet Sweet Potatoes with Toasted Pecans
Yield 6-8 servings
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 6 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/3” rounds
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup pecans, chopped and toasted
Combine the brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
In a large skillet or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sliced sweet potatoes and toss to coat with butter. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the buttered potatoes and stir to coat. Reduce heat to low, cover skillet, and continue cooking for 45 minutes to 1-hour ; stirring occasionally. Once the sauce has caramelized the potatoes and they’re fork-tender, stir in the vanilla. The sauce will thicken slightly once off the heat.
In a separate sauté pan, toast the pecans before topping the candied sweet potatoes.