I don’t know why, but we didn’t grow up eating a lot of sweet potatoes. I moved to the South around the time of the last low-carb fad, and sweet potatoes seemed to be coming out of hiding. They replaced white potatoes for a lot of our family meals, and ordinarily I just bake them in their skins and we eat them that way. I’m not picky about my sweet potatoes, though (as long as marshmallows and curry stay the h-e-double-hockey-sticks away). The recipe for Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Apples (Barefoot Contessa Parties!, p. 186) required a little more effort than simply baking the sweet potatoes, but the extra effort was well worth it. My one disappointment (and this has nothing to do with the recipe and everything to do with my own impatience) is that the apples should have been more browned before putting the entire dish into the oven. I think it would have made the final product more attractive, and the consistency of the apples would have been closer to the consistency of the potatoes. The photo of the finished product is in my flickr photostream, but I can’t bear to muddy up this post with that photo and tarnish the good reputation of this recipe, which is so very tasty. So instead, I’ll present you with the raw ingredient: the giant 2-lb. sweet spud that started the whole deal. You can barely see my bananas peeking out from behind it, cowering in fear.