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Kerry Nolan's Fiery Sweet Potatoes

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Among the things I love to do when I'm not on the air is putter around in the kitchen at my New Jersey home. Easy recipes, difficult ones, old faves, new challenges — they are all fun to me and very therapeutic at the end of what can sometimes be a tough news day.

I received a lovely letter this week from a listener asking about my sweet potato recipe from Thanksgiving. It's a variation on a theme — no marshmallows — and a perfect flavor balance of sweet, earthy, brick-colored potatoes and spice notes of Thai red curry.

I found the original recipe in the Dining section of The New York Times and tweaked it to my own taste. You can do the same — it's a very flexible recipe.

Enjoy, and let me know what you think!


5 pounds sweet potatoes
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk*
3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt

* Be sure to use unsweetened coconut milk, not coconut water!


1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake potatoes on a baking sheet until very soft, about one hour. When cool enough to handle, peel and mash potatoes. Feel free to use a hand mixer for maximum fluffiness!

2. In a small saucepan, heat coconut milk and curry paste over low heat. Mix coconut milk mixture, half the sugar, half the butter, and salt into potatoes. Keep the mixture warm until ready to serve, or cover and refrigerate the mixture up to two days.

3. At least 30 minutes before serving, heat oven to 425 degrees. Put potatoes in a baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. After baking, uncover potatoes, dot with remaining butter and sugar and broil until brown and crusty on top, checking often to prevent scorching.

Prep Time: About two hours

Yield: 10 to 12 servings, depending on who's eating.