Sweet Potato Mashers
I adapted this recipe for mashed sweet potatoes from one of my cooking magazines. It's pretty straight forward for any mashed potato dish except for the addition of an Anaheim pepper to spice it up a little.
This variety of pepper is a milder variety of the New Mexico chili pepper and can range in heat from medium to medium-hot or 500 to 2,500 on the Scoville scale. If you want to really spice up this dish, you could try substituting a hotter variety of pepper like jalapenos.
This pepper received its name from a farmer by the name of Emilio Ortega who brought the seeds from New Mexico to Anaheim, California way back in 1894. You may also see it in the markets as Magdalena or California chile.
A Couple of Changes
The original recipe has you seed and thinly slice the Anaheim chili before adding to the mashed sweet potatoes. I found the peppers were too big and their taste overwhelming the sweet flavors of the potatoes. As you take a bite of potatoes, you're met with a firm chunk of pepper.
I suggest you mince the pepper into tiny bits so it incorporates nicely in the potatoes and doesn't overpower them. I'm also thinking of roasting the pepper first before mincing. This will make them a little sweeter and softer and make a better match with the sweet potatoes.
Sweet Potatoes Are Not Your Everyday Potato
Did you know that sweet potatoes and regular potatoes are completely unrelated because they come from different "families"?
Yes, they bother are both called potato, they both are tubers, they both go back thousands of years and they both originated in Central and South America but they are very much different.
The everyday potato is in the Solanaceae family with other "nightshade" plants like peppers, tomatoes and eggplant. The sweet potato is in the Convolvulaceae family along with morning glory and bindweed.
The leaves of the Solanaceae family can be poisonous while the leaves in the Convolvulaceae family are eatable.
Spicy Mashed Sweet Potato Recipe
- Bring a pot of salted water large enough to easily hold the cubed sweet potatoes to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil for about 10 to 15 minutes until tender.
- Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot you cooked them in. Place the potatoes back on the heat (medium) for a couple of minutes to remove some of the excess starch and moisture. Be sure to stir the potatoes while this is happening so they don't burn.
- Using your favorite mashing technique, mash the potatoes to desired consistency.
- Add the butter and minced chile, taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.