Imagine if you will, soft, fluffy, and savory baked sweet potatoes, combined with shallots, thyme, butter, and delicious Fontina cheese. Have I made you hungry yet for Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes?
It seems like most sweet potato recipes add additional sweetness to an already sweet dish. But this recipe, unlike most other sweet potato dishes you have had, goes the another way and the result are pure deliciousness. These healthy Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes are the perfect side dish to accompany pretty much any entrée, and as a bonus, they can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time and just popped in the oven when it’s time to eat. They are as pretty to look at as they are yummy to eat and very easy to make, so they also are a perfect side dish to serve your guests. They also just might tempt any picky eaters in your family to eat something healthy for them.
Harriet and Jim, long-time friends of ours first introduced us to these scrumptious Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes at their home a few weeks ago, and then Harriet made them again shortly afterward for a Supper Club dinner we attended. I liked them so much that I made them this past weekend for company and served them with Grilled Grouper and Mango Salsa. I will have to admit these three times are the only three times in my life that I have eaten an entire serving of sweet potatoes. I know you are shaking your head right about now, and I know how healthy they are, but I had tried many different sweet potato recipes over the years and just didn’t care for all of that sweetness. This savory recipe, which was adapted from an Ina Garten recipe, is entirely different from any other sweet potato dish that I have ever had and I know you will love them as much as we do.
So let me show you how easy they are to make. First, gather your ingredients, which include: sweet potatoes, butter, shallots, fresh thyme, kosher salt and pepper, egg, and Fontina cheese.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
Scrub the potatoes and place them on the pan. Using a knife cut a few slits in the top to allow the steam to escape.
Bake the potatoes for about 50 minutes. Using a potholder, squeeze one of the potatoes to see if they are soft. If they are, remove from the oven, if not, bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Meanwhile, heat 1-1/2 Tbsp of butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for about 4 minutes, or until they are tender. Add the minced thyme and cook for another minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half lengthwise. Very carefully, using a teaspoon, scoop out some of the warm potato flesh into a medium size bowl. Be sure to leave about a ½ inch layer of sweet potato next to the skin.
Sprinkle kosher salt and pepper on the insides of the potatoes.
Add the remaining softened butter to the potato mixture and mash with a fork or a potato masher.
Add the shallots, egg, cheese, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper and mix well.
Spoon the mixture into the sweet potato shells and top each with a sprig of fresh thyme. (If you are making this dish ahead, at this point cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)
Bake the potatoes uncovered for 20-30 minutes, or until they are puffed and lightly browned. Serve hot. Enjoy!