Monday, October 22, 2012

Baked Sweet Potatoes With Blue Cheese and Pecans

Last week we attended P.E.E.R.’s annual harvest feast that marks the end of the farmers market season. The menu features produce from local farmers and was absolutely delicious. My favorite dish was a strange-but-delicious combination of sweet potatoes, blue cheese, and candied pecans. After one bite, I had to re-create it. For my version, I also added a little bacon. The combination sounds weird, but, trust me, it is a terrific balance of sweet, salty, savory, and earthy. We will definitely have this for Thanksgiving!

Baked Sweet Potatoes With Blue Cheese and Pecans
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
2 cups milk
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
Salt and pepper
5 sweet potatoes (mine were pretty small, so adjust depending on size), peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup chopped pecans, divided
2 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
4 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1. Melt butter in a skillet; stir in flour, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, stirring until mixture begins to thicken. Stir in blue cheese until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Place 1 layer on sweet potatoes in bottom of baking dish; season lightly with salt and pepper. Spoon a third of blue cheese mixture over potatoes; sprinkle with 1/4 cup chopped pecans. Top with another layer of sweet potatoes; sprinkle with bacon. Spoon half of remaining blue cheese mixture over potatoes. Layer with remaining potatoes; lightly season with salt and pepper. Top with remaining blue cheese mixture.
3. Melt 4 Tbsp. butter and brown sugar in clean skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is combined and smooth. Stir in 3/4 cup chopped pecans, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Spread hot mixture over top of blue cheese mixture.
4. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until potatoes are tender.

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