Thai Coconut Sweet Potato Mash

A couple nights ago I told my husband I was craving Thai food.  If you live in a major metropolitan area that probably sounds like a pretty normal thing.  You can get Thai food everywhere nowadays…except here.  Where we live we have ONE Thai restaurant.  So when I say I want Thai, I’m pretty much saying I want to go to THAT restaurant.  It’s a nice little place.  It’s downtown, small, quiet, good food, fast service.  But going there with four kids?  Yeah, no thanks.  Taking toddlers into a restaurant is almost invariably a bad idea and we have two of them.

We hardly ever go out for exactly that reason so I figured I’d better devise something to make at home to satisfy the craving.  I woke up with the recipe for these sweet potatoes in my head yesterday morning.  I usually wake up thinking about cooking.  Or eating.  FYI.

These are not your basic sweet potatoes.  In other words, they’re not just sweet.  They are much more complex with a really nice flavor balance.  Salty and sweet, savory with just a hint of spiciness.  Mmm.  Comfort food to the max.  And so easy to make.  After three doctors’ visits in three days, each with all the kids in tow, I needed these big time.

And a stiff drink.  But that’s a story for another day.

Here’s what you need:  2 medium sweet potatoes (yes, they’re actually yams), butter, salt, sugar (not shown ’cause it forgot to show up for picture day), lime juice, cayenne pepper, coconut milk, and sweetened flaked coconut.

First, peel and large dice up your sweet potatoes.  Taking the time to do this in the beginning saves you a lot of cooking time in the end.

Next, throw them in a pot of COLD water.  (It’s important you don’t throw raw potatoes straight into boiling water.  Doing so shocks them into dumping their starch into the water and you end up with gluey mashed potatoes.)  Turn the heat up to high and bring them to a boil.  Once boiling, turn down the heat and let simmer about 10-15 minutes or until a fork slides easily into them.

Strain out the liquid…

…and throw them into a bowl.  Add 1/2 a stick of butter, a dash of cayenne…

…a teaspoon of salt…

…two tablespoons sugar…

… 1/2 cup of coconut milk (you want to shake it up first, it tends to be lumpy in the can)…

…and 2 tsp lime juice.  You can use the bottled kind if you like.  You don’t even need half a lime’s worth of juice.  I just needed to use this lime before it turned into a green rock in my fridge.

And mash it all up.  You can use a potato masher if you have one but a fork works just as well.

Top with shredded coconut for even more coconuty wonderfulness.  You could also toast the coconut before adding it on if you’re feeling ambitious…which I obviously was not last night.  We had it with very simple pork chops and spinach and cranberry salad with balsamic glaze.  So beautiful and mouth wateringly yummy.  I’m excited I get to eat it again today for lunch.  And it came together so quickly and easily – doesn’t get any better than that!

Enjoy!

Thai Coconut Sweet Potato Mash

2 medium sweet potatoes/yams (about 2 lbs)

4 Tbsp butter

1/2 cup coconut milk

2 Tbsp sugar

2 tsp lime juice

1 tsp salt

dash of cayenne pepper

Sweetened Flaked Coconut for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

Peel and large dice sweetpotatoes.  Add to a pot of cold water.  Set over high heat until boiling.

Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes, until sweet potatoes are fork tender.  Drain.

In a medium bowl, combine drained sweet potatoes with butter, coconut milk, sugar, salt, lime juice, and cayenne pepper.  Mash to combine.

Garnish with flaked coconut and serve hot.

Makes 6-8 servings.

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