Thursday, December 3, 2009

Recipe thuRsday: Sweet Potato Casserole

Howdy y'all!

I figured with last week being Thanksgiving, everyone was going to be cooking their own recipes, so I took a week off from Recipe thuRsday!  However, I'm making up for it this week with my recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole, that old Southern favorite.

Truth be told, I hated sweet potatoes as a kid. I don't know why really, maybe it was the way my mom prepared them that didn't appeal to me--her version was whole chunks topped with a orange juice brown sugar glaze, cranberries and marshmallows on top. Tasty yes, but it made me gag when I had to eat it! Or maybe it was the fact that I felt a potato shouldn't be sweet, but sometime in my college years, I discovered this recipe from a coworker's wife and fell in love with the almighty sweet tater. I love my sweet taters mashed the best, but I love them baked and topped with sour cream or mixed in my two potato mash or in a sweet potato pie! Best of all, the sweet potato packs a powerful healthy punch, full of rich antioxidants and tons of vitamins. No wonder it makes the perfect baby food!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Feel free to play with the amounts of the ingredients as you see fit; I see this recipe as more like guidelines (yargh!).

Cheers,
Kelly

Sweet Potato Casserole
3-4 c mashed sweet potato (fresh or canned)
1/3 c milk
3/4 c sugar
1 1/2 sticks of butter (3/4 cup total, room temp)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
dash of salt

Topping
3/4 c brown sugar
1/3 c flour
1/3 cup butter (relatively cold)
1/3 c chopped pecans (optional)

1. To make your sweet potatoes fresh: peel 4 large sweet potatoes, cube them into 1 inch pieces and then boil them in lightly salted water until they're soft. Drain and you're good to go!
2. Preheat oven to 350F.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, milk, white sugar, butter, and eggs and whip with an electric mixer. (NOTE: the butter mixes easier if the potatoes are freshly cooked, if you use canned, I highly recommend heating them up in the microwave for a bit to warm them up!)
4. Pour into a greased 9x13 casserole dish and set aside.
5. Mix the flour, brown sugar and cold butter together with your hands or a fork. It should be very crumbly.
6. Sprinkle the topping onto the sweet potatoes and then sprinkle the chopped pecans on top. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until the topping is caramelized and the potatoes have set.

TIPS: The butter mixes easier if the potatoes are freshly cooked. However if you choose to use canned, I highly recommend heating them up in the microwave for a bit to warm them up! Also, make sure that there isn't any sugar added to the canned sweet potatoes; if there is, adjust the recipe accordingly!
For a lower calorie/fat version, you can reduce the amount of sugar and butter as needed or desired.
A dash of cinnamon can add some real pizazz to the casserole.

Bon apetit!

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