Oct 21 2010
I served these at Thanksgiving Dinner this year, which also happened to be my daughter’s third birthday party. I chose them because I wanted to do something with sweet potatoes that wasn’t just mashing them (because we were having mashed potatoes) and that was baking them (did that last year.) I went to Martha because, when it’s for Thanksgiving you need the best and when you need the best, the best is Martha. I found these on her site and thought they looked so pretty and interesting, they’d be my sweet potato dish that year. And they were. But, these cute little cannellonis come with some warnings.
Firstly, they are HARD. It’s not just a matter of easily rolling up the sweet potato around the delicious filling and popping them in the oven. You need to start by making sure that the sweet potato slices are very, very thin. I didn’t have a mandolin when I did them and if I ever do them again (which I’m not sure I will), I will buy a mandolin and I suggest you do the same. They’re fabulous and if you really love cooking, you’ll use them all the time (so I hear.) Using a knife worked fine, but it definitely wasn’t as easy as it could be.
Then when you’re boiling the slices, don’t overcook them. I actually ended up doing two different batches of slices because I actually cooked the first slices I put in the water. Don’t cook them, just blanch them. Drop them in for a minute – I don’t even suggest two – and then take them out. Remember that they’ll cook slightly while they’re still piping hot and cooling on the baking sheet. They will be as soft as you need them to be, I promise.
Also, don’t forget to trim them into rectangle shapes. I forgot to do that part and I’m sure that yours will be much easier to roll, and much prettier if you do. These definitely aren’t the easiest dish to do. But at least you can sweat away at it the night before and then just pop them in the fridge. They’re beautiful and really, truly delicious! The apple was a nice surprise, even though I didn’t think I’d like it in there. And I wish, oh I wish, I had used the walnuts! They’d be genius on there. Boo for me, for not being able to find them anywhere!