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Friday, January 24, 2014

Orange-Chipotle Roasted Sweet Potatoes

A couple of years back I won a cookbook on The Washington Post Free Range weekly chat. Titled Autumn Gatherings, it has become one of my favorites and is starting to show considerable signs of wear. Here is one of the recipes that I have returned to often each fall and winter season.


Orange-Chipotle Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Adapted from: Autumn Gatherings by Rick Rodgers
Serves 6 to 8

3 pounds sweet potatoes (Rodgers is a southerner so calls for yams, the same veg in this case)
3 T olive oil
2 T unsalted butter, softened
1 T bitter orange marmalade
grated zest of 1 large orange
1/4 teas ground chipotle chile

Preheat your oven to 400F with the rack placed in the top third. (Rodgers suggests lining a baking sheet with foil for easy clean up. I can't bring myself to waste the foil, so I just wash the sheet.)

Cut each sweet potato in half, then crosswise into 3/4 inch-thick half rounds. And then into one-inch chunks. Toss the sweet potatoes on the baking sheet with the oil and spread into a single layer.

Bake, turning the sweets once or more, until they are tender and lightly browned, about 30 minutes. (I admit I've forgotten to turn them and they were fine.)

Meanwhile, mash the butter, marmalade, zest, and ground chipotle in a small bowl and set aside at room temperature. (This step can be done up to three hours ahead.)

Remove the sweets from the oven. Dollop teaspoons of the orange butter over the sweet potatoes and stir gently to coat. Return them to the oven and bake until the orange butter reduces to a glaze, about 5 minutes. Season lightly with salt to taste. Serve.


The sweets can be prepared (prior to the glazing step) up to eight hours ahead, cooled, and stored on the baking sheet at room temperature. Reheat for 5 minutes, also at 400F, before adding the orange butter.

If you can find only whole dried chipotles you can make your own chipotle powder by grinding pieces in a dedicated spice grinder (I have 3 old blade coffee grinders that I use only for spices--look for them at garage sales and thrift shops). You may also substitute 1/2 teas ground ancho (you can grind that, too), or, in a pinch, 1/2-1 teas chili powder.

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