4 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), scrubbed and halved lengthwise
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup milk, or as needed
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
Adjust oven rack to lowest position, and heat oven to 400 degrees. Place potatoes cut sides down on a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Holding a potato half with a potholder, scoop potato flesh into a blender or food processor, leaving a 1/4-inch shell. Repeat with remaining potatoes; set shells aside.
With motor running, gradually add both milks to potatoes. Add butter, then process, adding a little more milk if necessary, until potatoes are silky smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon puree back into potato shells. Sprinkle marshmallows over potatoes. Place on baking sheet and bake until potatoes are hot and marshmallows are golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve hot.
How far ahead can I make it?
The stuffed potatoes, without the marshmallows, can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
When should I serve it?
For classic fall and winter celebrations like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's.
For any fall or winter dinner party or buffet -- the recipe is easily multiplied.
For a roast pork or poultry dinner.
Serve heated sweet potato puree on its own rather than stuffing it back into the shells.
How can I vary it?
If you don't want to top the potatoes with marshmallows, consider pecans, walnuts, or shredded coconut.
Flavor the potatoes with ground nutmeg, finely grated orange or lemon zest, dried thyme leaves, minced fresh rosemary, or, for a little heat, cayenne pepper.
Excerpted from Perfect Recipes for Having People Over, by Pamela Anderson (Houghton Mifflin, 2005). Photograph copyright (c) 2005 by Rita Maas.