Thanksgiving is almost here, so it’s time to start thinking about what to make for the big day! To get some inspiration, we asked Inkers to share their favorite Thanksgiving recipes.
Chase D.’s, sweet potato goodness will make sweet potato haters do a double take! Outside of his job as a production artist at CustomInk, Chase is a chef who hosts pop-ups, makes guest appearances at some of Reno’s finest restaurants, and is in the process of opening up one of his own. Needless to say, he has a few rad recipes!
Sweet Potato Goodness
Yields 12 Servings so bump it up or down proportionally as you like
4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 slices Guanciale or Pancetta (if you don’t have either, smoked thick cut bacon is a decent substitute, but shoot for the other two as they have nice, creamy fat that renders down perfectly for the rest of the dish)
1 pound Spanish onions, thinly sliced not diced
1 cup pure maple syrup (this is where you can’t skimp. Buy the grade A stuff. It’s got way more body than you’d think and offers more depth than the ‘maple syrup’ that you get for pancakes which is pretty much watery corn syrup)
2 tbsp fresh thyme flowers (just pinch the top of the stalk and run your fingers down to the base to easily remove the thyme flowers)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the sweet potato chunks, olive oil, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl, and spread the sweet potatoes out onto a large rimmed baking sheet.
Roast in the preheated oven until browned and tender, about 40 minutes; stir / shake the pan after the first 20 minutes.
Cook the guanciale/pancetta/bacon until crisp and brown in a large skillet over medium heat, about 10 minutes (the lower and slower you cook these products, the more fat that will be rendered resulting in crunchy not chewy fat); transfer guanciale/pancetta/bacon to a bowl, but leave the grease in the skillet. Cook the onions in the grease until browned, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low, and cook the onions until very soft, brown, and sweet, another 10 to 15 minutes. Stir often. Mix the onions with the guanciale/pancetta/bacon in the bowl, and set aside.
Pour the maple syrup into the hot skillet with the thyme, and bring to a rolling boil. Boil the syrup until reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Place the roasted sweet potatoes and onion-guanciale/pancetta/bacon mixture into the skillet, and stir to coat the vegetables with maple glaze. Transfer to a serving dish.
Feel free to smear on crusty bread, stack some leftover turkey and stuffing on top, and let those stretchy pants do their job.
“This recipe was developed while I was living abroad in Italy. As you know, Italians don’t celebrate Thanksgiving…well not the American holiday. Everyday in Italy is pretty much a feast, but my fellow American friends and I still wanted to explore our country’s tradition halfway across the world and share it with some of our new foreign friends.
I lived in front of an open air market that would start bustling every single morning at about 5 A.M. and they always had the best of the best. Local everything…all the time….always. After having to gather ingredients often for the restaurant I worked at, Tre Re, I was often tasked with coming up with a special for the day. When November came, it gave me an excuse to test out some new ideas to share with guests of the restaurant and my friends. After a few trial runs and a few cases of wine, Sweet Potato Crack was born. It was the perfect dish to show Italians what Thanksgiving in America was like. It’s hearty, warm, inviting, nostalgic, and gives the taste buds all the sweet, salty, and savory notes it could want.
To me this is the perfect dish that can be paired up or down so easily. It’s rustic, yet a little refined, and I hope you all give it a try this holiday season as I promise it won’t disappoint.”
– Chase D.