Aired November 20, 2012
Coarse black pepper
1/2 cup dark amber maple syrup
5 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken stock
1 stick butter, cut into pieces
3 cups loosely packed yellow cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons chopped thyme
Nutmeg, to taste
Preheat oven to 375F. Arrange bacon on a slotted broiler pan or on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Season with black pepper and bake until crisp, 15-17 minutes. Remove from oven and raise heat to 450F. Baste bacon liberally with maple syrup and return to the oven for 2-3 minutes to glaze and further crisp the coating.
Meanwhile, place potatoes in a pot, cover with water and bring to boil. Salt water and cook until tender; drain and return to hot pot. Mash with just enough stock to make the potatoes fairly smooth, stir in butter, cheese and thyme, and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Top with lots of chopped maple bacon and serve.
Tip: To hold mashed sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes and keep warm, cover the pot after the potatoes have been mashed. Add an inch of water to a large pot, bring to a low boil, reduce heat to low and place covered pot into water. Check water level occasionally until ready to serve. The water bath will keep the potatoes perfect without drying them out.