Free For All Friday: Ask the Foodie

So I got this email early this week from a new subscriber—my best friend Pam‘s mom. She shares my love of food but has a lot more experience than I. And, she makes this amazing dish called firecracker shrimp that she got from an LA Times article a while back. You should be so lucky to try it. It’s a lot of work and she makes it perfectly. My mouth is watering just thinking about. Her husband is also rumored to make a mean creamed spinach. I’m going to get my hands on his recipe one of these days.

She says,

“I was checking out your food blog and was wondering if you have any unique ideas for sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving. I refuse to put marshmallows and brown sugar on them. I found a recipe for mashed that included blue cheese dressing that sounds sort of interesting. Let me know if you have any ideas!!”

What a challenge! Of course, I’m sure you’re all gasping “NO marshmallows or brown sugar?” I did, too. Then I recovered from my shock and went on a mission to find out some new twists on the sweet potato that didn’t add any extra sugar and instead made them a savory side dish for Thanksgiving.

Here’s what I found:

From Bon Appetit Nov. 2011 Issue


  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 6)
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1” cubes, room temperature
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup mild blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup store-bought candied pecans


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Roast sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet until tender, about 1 hour. Let cool slightly.
  • Remove skins and transfer sweet potatoes to a large heavy saucepan over low heat. Add cream cheese and butter. Mash until well blended and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Stir over low heat until hot.
  • Spoon into a warm serving dish and garnish with cheese and pecans.

I didn’t have time to test out the recipe this week, but I’m considering using it next Thursday on Turkey Day. Seems different!

Anyone here every make sweet potatoes with savory ingredients instead of the usual marshmallows and brown sugar?? Roasted perhaps?


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