Sweet potatoes or yams? A friend of mind asked me that question this week and I couldn't remember the difference.
There are two types of sweet potatoes, the paler-skinned type has a thin, light yellow skin with pale yellow flesh which is not sweet and has a dryer, more crumbly texture, similar to a white baking potato. The second type has a darker skin (which is sometime referred to as a yam in error) with a vivid orange, sweet flesh and a moist texture. That is what I have used here.
Yams are not even related to the sweet potato and are the tuber of a tropical vine. They have a higher sugar content so are sweeter than the sweet potato, but have a brown or black skin and an off-white, purple or red flesh. Most likely if you buy a yam in the grocery store, it's really a sweet potato.
I probably make this recipe once a week. Lately it has become our go to dish for potatoes. I love the color, the flavor and the creaminess of the dish. There is just a hint of sweetness but they are rich and satisfying. And you're getting a little extra nutrition by eating these over regular white potatoes which doesn't hurt.
These are so simple. Peel, boil, mash, add butter, honey, salt and pepper and you're done! This would even work for Thanksgiving. You could sprinkle some candied walnuts or mini marshmallows on top and then put it under the broiler for a few minutes.
Simple Mashed Sweet Potatoes
3 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch cubes
1 stick of unsalted butter
2-3 tablespoons of honey (depends on how sweet you like it - I used 2)
Salt and pepper
Add your cut up sweet potatoes to a large pot of salted water. Turn your heat on high. Add a lid if you want it to boil faster. Once it starts to boil, remove the lid and turn your heat down to a low boil. After five minutes, poke the potatoes with a fork to see if they are tender. They don't take very long! If they are tender, drain the liquid from the pot. Add the butter, honey and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 8.
-Try to cut the potatoes all the same size so they cook at the same rate.
-This recipe makes a lot so you can adjust the recipe according to your needs.
-Make sure you season them well with salt and pepper. Taste after each addition until you get the flavor just right. Salt will really bring out the flavor of your dish. This is why dishes taste so good at restaurants because they add salt but a lot more than you or I would.