Friday, April 5, 2013

Sweet Potato-Coconut Puree


Sweet Potato-Coconut Puree

Makes 6 Cups (scant)

This naturally sweet dish is perfect if you are craving something sweet and creamy. It's a delicious hot purée. Freshly grated nutmeg is key here. It's also delicious served cold or partially frozen 
for a treat, it's taste is reminiscent of pumpkin-pie ice cream if you double the spices (freezing subdues the spices, that's why you add more).

I've noticed that sweet potatoes can come nearly as large as footballs and as small as dinner-rolls.  It's hard to guess what size sweet potato to get for most recipes if no weight measurement is given. I once mistakenly chose enormous Russets for my first vichyssoise and I could have spackled a wall with it.  So for this recipe, I give some guidelines: choose large sweet potatoes, about 1 pound each, and it will be thick and creamy, like my first, ahem, "vichyssoise".

4 lb sweet potatoes (about 4 large potatoes or 8 small)
1/2 C coconut cream* 
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2- to 1-inch piece ginger peeled, minced
1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly ground
1 tsp salt or more to taste
*
Garnish:
Cinnamon coconut chips**
  1. Put trivet in the bottom of a large pressure cooker and add 1/2-cup water. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 2-inch chunks (you can leave skin on and easily peel afterward, but it's just one more step), and put in the pressure cooker and seal the lid. 
  2. Bring up to high pressure and pressure-cook for 10 minutes. Quick-release the steam by putting cooker under cold running water (with the lid still sealed), until pressure is completely released, then open the lid away from you. 
  3. Alternatively, cook the sweet potatoes any way you like as long as they are very tender (steamed in a rice cooker, baked, or steamed in a covered pot).
  4. Add sweet potatoes to a food processor and add remaining ingredients. Pulse several times, then run continuously for about 1 minute.
  5. Scoop into a serving bowl. 
  6. Serve hot or cold and garnish with coconut chips
* Coconut cream: you can buy cans of it at Trader Joes, OR simply refrigerate a can of coconut MILK (not Lite), and after a few hours, remove from fridge without shaking can, and scoop off solidified cream from the top. You can save remaining cream and whip for 2-3 minutes in a cold metal mixing bowl (and cold beaters). This whipped coconut cream can last for a few days in the refrigerator. Great served with berries or cherries.

**  In large skillet toast 1 cup coconut chips until golden brown, tossing or stirring frequently. Add a mixture of 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp salt to chips. Toss to coat hot chips. Enjoy.

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