You know, when I was mixing up the filling for these Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes, I was completely underwhelmed. But when I baked them up for their second baking time, something A-MAZING happened! Yum! I swear, that second baking time ... when all the flavors got time to meld together ...
transformed the filling into a delectable bacon-and-sweet potato-and-Parmesan delight.
See, I'm a 'picker.' I pick while I'm chopping ingredients. I pick while I'm mixing stuff up. I pick while stuff is simmering on the stove top. I pick while I'm plating up dishes. Heck, I even pick while I'm clearing the table and doing the dishes. It's a habit that's not so great for my waistline.
So, when I 'picked' a big ol' spoonful of the sweet potato filling while I was preparing it, I was disappointed at it's seemingly lack of the wonderful flavor I was expecting. When you combine sweet potato pulp, chopped green onion, Parmesan cheese, and bacon ('cause bacon makes everything better!), you'd expect a powerful flavor punch, right? Mmm, hmmm ... wasn't there.
But I pressed on anyway.
And I am sooo glad I did!
As I said before, some A-MAZING magic happens in the oven with these sweet potatoes ... and they're now one of our favorites. So, I decided these had to be what I shared with you for this month's Eating the Alphabet challenge (letters S and T), hosted by Brenda of Meal Planning Magic.
I highly recommend you bake up some sweet potatoes, mix the pulp with yummy bacon, green onion, and Parmesan cheese, and slide it all back in the oven to get all friendly. Your taste buds will thank you!
Oh, but if you're a 'picker' like me, you may want to fry up a few extra slices of bacon. You know, just in case they mysteriously disappear during the mixing process.
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Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
Source: Adapted from Taste of the South magazine, Christmas Cooking Southern Style Christmas 2011 edition (special edition from Southern Lady magazine)
6 small or medium-sized sweet potatoes
8 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
2 T. reserved bacon fat from cooking the bacon
1/4 c. chopped green onion
1 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until fork tender, about 45 minutes to an hour. Let potatoes rest for 30 minutes.
2. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out the potato pulp, leaving the skins intact with about a 1/4-inch layer of pulp inside (for stability). Set skins aside. Place the pulp in a mixing bowl.
(Note: Before you get started on mixing the sweet potato filling, set aside a little bit of chopped green onion and crumbled bacon to sprinkle on top of the sweet potatoes as garnish.)
3. Heat the reserved bacon fat in a pan over medium heat. Cook the green onion in the bacon fat until softened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add green onions, crumbled bacon, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper to the sweet potato pulp; mash together well.
4. Spoon sweet potato mixture into 8 of the reserved potato skins, discarding the remaining 4 skins. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese evenly over the tops.
5. Bake at 350 degrees until heated through and cheese is melted, about 30 to 45 minutes.
6. Garnish with reserved chopped green onion and crumbled bacon.