Monday, 3 June 2013

Mac & Cheese Mondays: Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese

Sometimes I decide to make things on the spur of the moment - not always, because it doesn't fit into my obsessive planning - but on occasion I just decide that I NEED to make something.

Like this mac and cheese.

I'm not completely sure why to be totally honest - I have been intrigued lately by sauces made with vegetables - like sweet potato, or avocado, or whathaveyou.

First, melt butter in a pan.

Then add the red onion.

Add the garlic.

Add the milk and sweet potato.  The recipe recommends cutting the sweet potato into small pieces and I agree wholeheartedly.

Bring the milk to a boil and cook until the sweet potato is fork-tender.  Pour the mixture into a blender or food process and pulse until smooth.

Then start adding the cheese by the handful, pulsing after each addition.

Don't forget the Parmesan!

Add the cayenne, paprika, salt and hot sauce.  I will admit that I wimped out on the cayenne and hot sauce - putting in about half of the amount listed on the recipe.

Give it one last whir and pour it in the pot with the cooked and drained pasta.

And serve.

I would recommend serving this IMMEDIATELY after it's done.  I was waiting on burgers to come off the grill and I found that the sauce kind of seized up.

Next time I would also use a pot to do the sweet potato sauce and use an immersion blender and keep everything in the pot, only because I may have taken my sweet time and the sauce was cooled off quite a bit - which may have added to the seizing problem.

To be perfectly honest - I'm not sure what I expected.  The spices reduced the sweetness of the sweet potato and the sauce isn't overly heavy and still creamy enough to fool you into thinking you'd made something a little different.

I think if you were trying to sneak vegetables into your kids' diets a little more often this would totally work.

Thanks to Rachel for a fun and healthy twist on a classic!

xoxo, the Cane girl.

Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese
I've included the slight changes that I made to the spices
2 Tablespoons butte
1/2 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups milk
2 cups sweet potato, cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon hot sauce
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 pound macaroni pasta
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions to al dente.  Drain and set aside.
  2. In a medium size pot, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the red onion and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.  Add the minced garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, or until fragrant.
  3. To the onion, add the milk and sweet potato.  Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the sweet potato is fork tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Using an immersion blender, blender the milk and sweet potatoes until smooth.  Add the cayenne, paprika, salt, and hot sauce.  Stir in the cheeses a handful at a time until melted.  Blend again to help restore the smoothness.
  5. Add the noodles back to the pot with the sweet potato mixture and stir to coat the pasta.  Serve immediately.
Source:  The Stay at Home Chef

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