I have been fascinated with Hasselback potatoes for years now. I think I first saw them on Pinterest. I had not run into them in the practical food world, only online, and I knew I eventually needed to make them when I conjured up a special recipe deserved of their unique style. Well my friends, today is that day!
I’m delighted to share Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Creamed Chipotle Turkey. Smoky, slightly spicy sour cream turkey and chipotle, perfect with the slices of the Hasselbeck-style sweet potato. Like the spicy ginger chicken stir fry recipe I shared last month, this recipe is also naturally gluten-free!
I will confess I have spent much of my life avoiding sweet potatoes. Traumatized by the Thanksgiving table of my childhood, when the ‘orange juice potato’ casserole with the little marshmallows was firmly deposited on the buffet followed by emphatic looks from my hosting relatives, leaving me to be sure I would not escape without a minimum of one heaping scoop on my plate.
This was, of course, the classic sweet potato casserole, which my little mind decided was mashed potatoes mixed with orange juice, leaving them the dense color and sweetness we all know of a sweet potato.
The moment that got me over the hump was a nontraditional Thanksgiving dish of my own: chipotle sweet potato gratin. I fell head over heels in love and realized sweet potatoes never were supposed to be married to marshmallows (at least in my mouth), which only intensifies their organic dense sweetness - but to something zippy, spicy and smoky like a chipotle chile pepper, which would showcase their best qualities. I love the combination of complimentary flavors like these as each component comes out tasting like a winner.
I wonder if you are looking at these pictures thinking to yourself ‘wait! This poor girl doesn’t even know what a sweet potato is; these are white!’. As I stood in front of the potato display at my grocery store, looking over the multiple sweet potato and yam options, I spotted this New Jersey Sweet Potato. I was attracted to its more uniform shape and lighter coloration. I also have a no-vegetable-left-behind mentality and love the chance to try something new.
In researching a bit, I learned they are an heirloom variety which have been resurrected, finding their perfect growing climate to be New Jersey. Instead of the jewel-tone orange of most sweet potatoes, their flesh is a yellowish color much more like a Yukon potato. They are said to be a bit less sweet than other sweet potatoes as well, however they definitely taste like a sweet potato.
This coincidental choice turned out to be fortuitous since my children, like me when I was their age, have a bit of a sweet potato aversion. These sweet potatoes however presented themselves as a friendlier liaison into the world of the sweeter tubers.
The traditional potato appearance in the coloring coaxed them into trying the dish and actually loving it! These Hasselback sweet potatoes with creamed chipotle turkey can be made with any sweet potato, of course, but since this type was new to me I wanted to share my new found knowledge!
This is not a dainty recipe, as you can see, but one to dig in and eat in your own style. I prefer to mix a bit of the crumbled ground turkey chipotle mixture on individual slices eating them almost like a type of nachos. The addition of jalapeno slices, scallion slices, and bacon bits allows different flavors in each bite too!