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Playing down the sweet potato's sweetness.

Playing down the sweet potato's sweetness Most cooks play up the obvious side of sweet potatoes and yams, accenting their sweetness with more of the same. These dishes do the opposite, balancing natural flavors with savory overtones.

Unlike most white potatoes, these orangefleshed cousins don't discolor readily, so each dish can be made ahead to fit into holiday meal plans.

For an elegant presentation, serve the potatoes Anna, which features thin slices layered with cheese and butter, then baked to form a cake. A simpler option is potatoes au gratin; if you have room in the over, it can bake alongside the turkey. Or begin dinner with the silky bisque, mildly flavored with curry.

Sweet Potatoes Anna 2 pounds (about 4 medium-size) sweet potatoes or yams 1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter or margarine, melted 6 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese Salt (optional) and pepper

Peel the potatoes. Using a food processor or thin-bladed sharp slicing knife, cut potatoes into paper-thin (about 1/8-in.) slices. Completely coat the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with 1 tablespoon of the butter.

Arrange 1/6 of the slices in an overlapping layer on bottom of the pan as pictured above. Drizzle potatoes with another tablespoon of butter and sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of the parmesan cheese, then sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Repeat layering until all ingredients are used; drizzle top with any leftover butter. Cover pan with foil. Push down on potatoes with your hands to compress. (If made ahead, chill up to overnight.)

Bake on lowest rack of 425[deg.] oven for 30 minutes (45 minutes if chilled). Uncover and continue baking until potatoes are brown and crisp on top and edges, 40 to 45 minutes longer. Let stand 5 minutes.

Using a large spatula to hold potatoes in place, drain of excess butter; reserve for another use. Loosen potatoes around the edges; invert onto a platter. Cut into wedges. Makes 6 servings.

Sweet Potatoes au Gratin 2 pounds (abou 4 medium-size) sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and thinly sliced 3/4 cup whipping cream 1/2 cup regular-strength chicken broth 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional) 1/8 teaspoon white pepper 1 cup (5 oz.) firmly packed shredded Swiss cheese

Spread potato slices evenly in a shallow 1-1/2- to 2-quart casserole. Mix cream, broth, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Pour over potatoes. Cover tightly. (If made ahead, chill up to overnight.)

Bake in a 325[deg.] over for 40 minutes (60 minutes if chilled). Uncover and continue baking for 30 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with cheese and continue baking, uncovered, until potatoes are tender when pierced and cheese is lightly browned, 20 to 30 minutes longer. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Spiced Sweet Potato Bisque 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 1 large onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced 2 teaspoons ground coriander 1 teaspoon curry powder 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon curry powder 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1 pound (about 2 medium-size) sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes 1 quarter regular-strength chicken broth Unflavored yogurt Cumin seed (optional)

In a 3- to 4-quart pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; stir often until onion is very limp, 5 to 7 minutes. Add coriander, curry, and ground cumin; stir for about 30 seconds. Add potatoes and broth. Bring to boiling over high heat, then cover and simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced, 15 to 20 minutes.

Pour mixture, about half at a time, into a blender; whirl until smooth. Return to pan. (If made ahead, cool, cover, and chill up to overnight.) Stir over medium-low heat until hot. Pour into a tureen or bowls. Garnish with a dollop of yogurt and few cumin seeds. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Nov 1, 1986
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