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Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Leeks | Great Performances


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Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Leeks
by Caitlyn Austin, Katchkie Farm

I am an Allium aficionado. Their strong flavors make a room smell heavenly and food taste divine. Alliums are the back bone to my cooking, which I believe you all have noticed from the frequent "top with scallion and serve" in all my recipes. 

 Leeks have a sweeter and more delicate flavor compared to their onion brothers. If you're new to leeks, do not fear, use them wherever you would an onion.


3 tablespoons Butter 
2 medium Leeks 
1/2 cup Whole milk or heavy cream 
7 Garlic cloves 
2 pounds Sweet potato, peeled or left with skin 
3/4 cup Mascarpone cheese 
2 sprigs Thyme 
Salt and pepper to taste 
Zest of 1 lemon 


1. First, you have to deconstruct the leek. We will only be using the white and light green parts of the leek. First, cut off the dark green leaves and discard. Next, cut down the length of the leek and remove the first fibrous layer. Slice leeks in half lengthwise and run the halves under running water, gently fan open the layers so to remove any sand or grit. Cut the long halves into thin half moons. 
2. Melt butter in a pan and add chopped leeks and 2 sprigs of thyme. Saute leeks on medium-low heat, slowly caramelizing leeks will release their delicious juices.Cover leeks and cook until they're soft and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove thyme stems. 
3. Combine 1/2 whole milk and garlic in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and then turn down to low heat. Cover and cook until garlic is soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and smash garlic with a fork, forming a milk-garlic paste. Set aside.
4. Cook sweet potatoes in a pot of boiling salt water until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain potatoes and place them back in pot.
5. Mash sweet potatoes with milk-garlic paste and mascapone. Season with salt and pepper. Top with caramelized leeks and lemon zest.  

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