Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bittman Loves Him Some Sweet Potato


Mark Bittman, food editor of the New York Times, extols the virtue of the ubiquitous sweet potato while sharing no little frustration with our national fascination with turkey - the worst piece of meat you can roast according to him.

One word, Mark. It's tradition. But I'm one of those fortunate few that comes from a different tradition.

In my Cajun family, patat douce (sweet potato) was a staple from the fall through the spring.

Oh sure, we often candied it with brown sugar and marshmallows for the Thanksgiving feast. But we also served it baked, no butter, to be peeled and relished like a banana as a side to gumbo, for breakfast or any old meal.

Nowadays, I still eat baked sweet potato for breakfast, but my favorite recipe is coconut-roasted sweet potato served with lime zest or Tony's Creole Seasoning. (When in doubt, add Tony's!)

But its versatility is far greater than this. Roast, bake, French-fry, shred, puree, soup, salad, pie - however you slice it, dining on the humble sweet potato is one of those rare occasions when what's clean, healthy and good for you is also good eating.

So on the eve of the great turkey roast and subsequent coma, I concur with Bittman. Let's eat more sweet potato and leave those poor, tortured birds alone.

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