Since 1926, the Agricultural Review has been a free newspaper published by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. For many years, The Tar Heel Kitchen was a featured column written by the department’s marketing home economist. These recipes tended to be seasonal with just a handful of ingredients. We thought these recipes needed to be shared in a new format. The Tar Heel Kitchen post will unearth a few of these timeless recipes each month. This week we are revisiting the Oct. 1, 1985 issue and a “new” way to fix those Thanksgiving sweet potatoes.
“Sweet potatoes are among the most easily prepared of all vegetables,” said Barbara “Babs” Minter Wilkinson, former NCDA&CS home economist. “They may be baked, boiled, browned, fried and candied. They can be used to make biscuits, bread, muffins, pies, custards, cookies or cakes.”
“It is good to remember when cooking to leave the “sweet” in it’s jacket (skin) in order to best preserve the nutrients and flavor of the potato. The jackets will slip off easily with a little pressure from a knife once cooked,” she added.
Sweet potatoes are native to North America and North Carolina grows more than any other state. We also export about 30 percent of our crop to Europe – they love the sweetness of North Carolina sweet potatoes, too.
Below is a recipe for Almond-Sweet Potato Puffs. We tried these in the NCDA&CS test kitchen and liked the flavor of the orange marmalade mixed with the sweet potatoes. We served them as a side dish so we made slightly larger puffs. To serve as a appetizer, make slightly smaller puffs. Also, if you want to make them with even more North Carolina goodness, use N.C.-grown pecans instead of almonds.
Almond-Sweet Potato Puffs
- 3 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 5 tablespoons orange marmalade
- 1 large egg or 2 small eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup chopped almonds
Combine mashed potatoes with melted butter, marmalade, egg and salt in mixing bowl. Beat until smooth; chill. Spread almonds on sheet of waxed paper; drop potato mixture by heaping tablespoons onto almonds, roll to coat on all sides. Shape into 2-inch balls and place in greased shallow baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until hot. Place a dollop of butter and a sprig of parsley, if you wish, on each puff before serving.