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Simple Cooking: Maple Ginger Sweet Potatoes With Brown Sugared Bacon

By Caitlin Klein in Food on Sep 28, 2012 5:20PM

Last week we reported on Chicago’s third Bacon Takedown from Matt Timms, sponsored by Hormel. You may recall that I competed, and even though this recipe didn’t win, IT SHOULD HAVE. View the winners here, and be sure to try Chicagoist’s easy recipe. I cooked it to make 300 tasting-sized servings, so this recipe is scaled for 6-8 people as a side dish. Pick up the phone — Thanksgiving is calling.

Chicagoist’s Maple Ginger Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugared Bacon
4 large sweet potatoes
1 pound bacon
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup milk
1/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1/4 cup brown sugar

Fry the bacon until crisp and drain on paper towels. Crumble the bacon thoroughly.
In the meantime, peel the sweet potatoes. We prefer to do this with a sharp chef’s knife, but you can also do it with a vegetable peeler if your sweet potatoes don’t have too many pits or awkward angles. Fill a large pot with water. Cube the sweet potatoes and drop them into the water. Bring the potatoes and water to a boil, and boil for a full 10 minutes, or until potatoes pierce easily with a fork. Strain the potatoes and set aside to cool.

While the potatoes are cooling, peel and mince the fresh ginger. A good way to do this is to peel the ginger with a sharp knife, then slice into rounds against the direction of the fibers. Place the rounds in a food processor and pulse a few times to get a great, finely minced ginger.

Once potatoes have cooled enough to handle, place into a large mixing bowl. Add the milk. Using a hand or stand mixer, whip potatoes until smooth, pausing occasionally to scrape the sides with a spatula. When smooth, add the maple syrup and mix. Add half the bacon and stir just to mix.

Remove the mashed sweet potatoes to a deep baking dish. Top with remaining bacon and sprinkle with generously brown sugar. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and warm for ~20 minutes, or until brown sugar is thoroughly melted on the sprinkled bacon into a glaze. Serve warm in large scoops. Make sure everyone gets some of the brown sugar glaze!