Cooking with Pete and Barb Marczyk: sweet potato and carrot puree
Pete Marczyk and Barbara Macfarlane do not leave their work behind when they leave Marczyk Fine Foods and head for their great old Denver house with the big, new kitchen. They often bring some of their market's choicest ingredients home with them and cook up a feast.
"I found this recipe many years ago in the Silver Palate cookbook, back when purees were all the rage, and I made three different ones for Thanksgiving dinner," says Barb, admitting that a trio of purees amounted "to a little overkill." But each year for Thanksgiving, she still makes one, and next week, on Turkey Day, she'll serve a puree of sweet potatoes and carrots. "When you see the ingredients here, you'll realize how rich it is, so you may have leftovers," and if you do, she recommends whipping up a lamb stew and using the remaining puree to top it. "It's a killer combination," she promises.
Sweet Potato and Carrot Puree
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2 pounds sweet potatoes
1 pound carrots
2 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon sugar
12 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Dash cayenne pepper (optional)
1. Scrub potatoes and cut a small, deep slit in the top of each. Set on the center rack of a preheated 375-degree oven and bake for about 1 hour, or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
2. Meanwhile, peel and trim carrots and cut them into 1-inch lengths. Put them in a saucepan and add the water, sugar, 2 tablespoons of the butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Set over medium heat, bring to a boil, and cook uncovered until water has evaporated and carrots begin to sizzle in the butter, about 30 minutes. The carrots should be tender. If not, add a little additional water and cook until carrots are done and all liquid has evaporated.
3. Scrape out the flesh of sweet potatoes and combine with carrots in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add remaining butter and crème fraîche and process until very smooth.
4. Add nutmeg and additional salt and pepper to taste. Add cayenne, if desired, and process briefly to blend.
5. To reheat, transfer to an ovenproof serving dish and cover with foil. Heat in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 25 minutes, or until steaming hot.