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Fromage Friday: Smoky and Spicy Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Bacon and Goat Cheese

Posted Sep 09 2011 7:00am

fromagefridaysThings lately have been tremendously hectic.  Between quitting one job and starting another (which I absolutely LOVE by the way), withdrawing an offer on a condo, traveling to Minnesota and Las Vegas, and starting an apartment hunt, any attempt at normalcy has quickly fallen by the wayside.  But the truest testament to the harried nature of my life these days?

August was National Goat Cheese Month and I COMPLETELY forgot to celebrate.  And not only did I not celebrate, I didn’t make one single recipe with goat cheese.  Both are pretty shocking I know, as to steal the line from the Frank’s Red Hot radio commercial, I put that sh*t on everything.  So to redeem myself, I thought that Fromage Friday was the perfect time to share a fantastic recipe featuring the most well known of goat’s milk cheeses (at least in the states), chevre or fresh goat’s milk cheese.

I incorporate it into some addictive Smoky and Spicy Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Bacon and Goat Cheese.

Smoky and Spicy Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Bacon and Goat Cheese-2
Because I am sorry to my vegetarian readers, but if there is anything I love ALMOST as much as cheese its bacon and when you combine the two – heaven.  In addition to these two power ingredients, these sweet potatoes also get a lovely pop of flavor from spicy and smoky chipotles in adobo.  They might seem like an unusual pairing with goat cheese, but ever since I made Chipotle-Goat Cheese Sauce back in December of last year, I’m convinced they are a perfect pair.  And with sweet potatoes, they make for a great trio of flavors.  The tang of the cheese and the heat of the peppers both balance out the sweetness of the potatoes for an incredibly well balanced and decadent dish.  And the bacon?  The savory-smoky hit of it compliments the chipotles perfectly and brings a great sense of umami to the dish.

I’m already thinking I may have a new love with sweet potatoes + goat cheese + bacon and have been thinking I want to translate these flavors into other dishes in the future.  I’m thinking perhaps a soup or some scones or a gratin or a savory sweet potato pie.  Other suggestions are appreciated as well.  But in the meantime, I highly recommend these mashed potatoes.  Looking ahead to fall, they are the perfect side dish to the roasted meats and poultry that taste so exceptional this time of year.

Smoky and Spicy Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Bacon and Goat Cheese-1

Smoky and Spicy Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Bacon and Goat Cheese
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

-3 1/2 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes (about 1 pound 4 ounces of potatoes)
-1 teaspoon canola oil
-1/4 cup chopped shallots
-1/4 cup white wine
-1/2 cup half and half
-4 ounces fresh goat cheese (chevre)
-1 tablespoon chopped chipotle in adobo
-3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
-1/3 cup cooked crumbled bacon

Method:

Add the potatoes to a large Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.

While potatoes are cooking add the teaspoon of canola oil to a frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once pan is hot, add shallots and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the white wine to deglaze the pan and cook until all the liquid has evaporated.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the onions to a blender along with the half and half, goat cheese, chipotle in adobo, garlic powder, and sea salt.  Blend until the mixture is smooth.  Pour the onion mixture into a saucepan and heat over medium low until just warm.

Drain the potatoes and let them cool for a minute.  Then, mash with a fork or with a potato ricer and return to the pan.  Add the onion mixture from the saucepan and the bacon to the sweet potatoes and stir in until well distributed.  Serve immediately.

Hungry for more goat cheese? Check out the round up of my favorite goat cheese recipes I put together last year in celebration of Goat Cheese Month. Or check out my goat cheese tasting that goes beyond Chevre to some fun varieties that may broaden what you think of as ‘goat cheese.’

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