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Sweet potatoes add burst of color

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Noel Barnhurst
Sweet Potato Towers With Smoked Chile and Chive Cream

Sweet potatoes and yams make a welcome appearance on the holiday table. Most markets sell two sweet potato varieties: moist and dry. The moist sweet potato variety, a reddish-brown potato, is often labeled a yam. And now you can find sweet purple potatoes that are equally delicious. I prefer either the reddish-brown or sweet purple potato for holiday cooking to the drier kind with light brownish-yellow skin and pale flesh that is decidedly less sweet. This recipe that highlights the sweet orange potatoes’ special flavor and texture.

Sweet Potato Towers With Smoked Chile and Chive Cream are a simple way to go if you want an easy and tasty recipe. I rely on these little orange or purple nuggets year-round when I have little time but want to add a burst of color to the plate. If you want a simpler version, just garnish each tower with creme fraiche or sour cream and chives.

Select firm, unblemished sweet potatoes and use a serrated peeler for ease in peeling. The Sweet Potato Towers can be baked ahead and reheated just before serving. The chile cream can be made two days ahead and refrigerated.

Contact Diane Rossen Worthington at www.seriouslysimple.com.

Sweet Potato Towers With Smoked Chile and Chive Cream

2 pounds evenly sized and shaped reddish-brown sweet potatoes (yams) (about 1 12 pounds)

2 teaspoons oil

2 tablespoons Smoked Chile and Chive Cream (see recipe below)

2 teaspoons chopped chives, for garnish

Heat an oven to 400 degrees. Wash the yams and rub them lightly with oil.

Place the yams on baking sheet and bake them for 30 minutes. Prick the skin of each yam and return them to the oven for 30 minutes more, or until tender.

Remove the pointed ends of the yams and slice crosswise into 2-inch-thick slices.

Lay the slices flat on a platter and garnish each with 1 teaspoon of Smoked Chile Cream and 14 teaspoon chives. Serve 1 or 2 slices per person, depending on the thickness of the yams. Serve immediately.

Advance preparation: The yams can be cooked one day ahead, placed on a baking sheet, covered and refrigerated. Reheat the yams in a preheated 350-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until heated through.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Smoked Chileand Chive Cream

1 teaspoon chipotle Tabasco Sauce, or to taste

1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

12 cup creme fraiche or sour cream

Salt, to taste

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and season with salt.

Refrigerate until serving.

Advance Preparation: This may be prepared 2 days ahead, covered and stored in the refrigerator.

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