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Pureed Sweet Potatoes with Smoked Paprika
Sweet potatoes are winter comfort food.  They are easy to prepare: baked, steamed or micro waved.  Delicious in the shell with just S/P and butter or scooped out and then mashed or pureed, they compliment all meats and offset stronger veggies such as Brussels sprouts or broccoli.  Sweet potatoes can also stand up to bold seasonings. 

Smoked Spanish Paprika is a spice de jour in U.S. restaurants.  Paprika is made by grinding aromatic sweet red pepper pods.  The best comes from Hungary and Spain.  When smoked over oak, pungent paprika retains its rich dark orange color while taking on awesome smoky flavors and bouquet.  The Pensay Spices people sell it, as do others. They suggest adding it to chicken and fish before cooking and to soups, salads and any tomato based dish.

Here smoked paprika is added to sweet potatoes along with cayenne!  I've made this dish twice now and it has received oohs, aahs and yumyums all around.  Make it ahead of time, as it holds well in the fridge.  Here's how:

Pureed Sweet Potatoes with Smoked Paprika
Yield:  4 to 6 servings
See abbreviations, if needed

3 lbs                    sweet potatoes (3 to 5)
4T                        butter, softened
S                          TT
1/2t (not more)    smoked paprika
1/2t                      cayenne
1/3 to 1/2C          heavy cream
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1.   Fork the shells and microwave or steam the sweet potatoes, to done
2.   Let cool, and scoop out the flesh into a stainless steel bowl 
3.   Add the butter and work in
4.   Break up the potato with a fork, to roughly smooth
5.   Add the smoked paprika and salt and work in 
6.   Add half the cayenne and work in (reserve the rest for Step 9)
7.   Puree the potato mixture with a stick blender or a hand beater, to silky smooth
8.   Taste and adjust seasonings, keeping in mind that cream will be added later
      (The cream will smooth out the paprika and the cayenne)
9.   Add the rest of the cayenne (optional, but go for it)
10. Hold in fridge
11. On order, add the cream, heat and serve immediately in a warmed bowl


 

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