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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cook’in With Mark

This month I thought I would use something that is perfect for this time of year. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and nothing says “Thanksgiving” like Sweet Potato Casserole.

The thought of sweet potato's never did much for me, until I was at The Fireside in Fort Atkinson Wisconsin.

For those of you not familiar with The Fireside, they are a performing theater, that has lunch or dinner before the show. The food is always great and the shows are usually good for the limited space and props.

On one occasion, we were served Sweet Potato casserole and I reluctantly tried it.

It was fantastic.

Those of you that are fond of this casserole, know just how sweet this dish is. It could probably be modified to become a replacement for pumpkin pie…but why would anyone want to get that healthy?

This casserole is nearly bulletproof for the hectic holiday kitchens. Make ahead of time and either freeze and thaw before needed, or make the day before and refrigerate for the night. On the day of the dinner, remove from refrigerator and bake.

The bulletproof factor comes in when cooking multiply items that need different temperatures. The casserole can be cooked up to 400 degrees (modify time by watching) and and/or cooked longer (when waiting for other foods to finish), or re-heated as you arrive at the family’s house.

When preparing, you can feel free to modify the topping. It calls for 1 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of flour, but I will usually reduce the brown sugar and increase the flour, because it is plenty sweet for me.

What I am looking for in the topping is something very grainy. Don’t make it sticky or resembling a batter. Very dry to aid in sprinkling on the top. I will use a large fork as a rake of sorts.

So here is my modified version of the experiments.

Sweet Potato Casserole

4 C Mashed Sweet Potato

1/4 C White Sugar

2 Large Eggs (beaten)

1/2 C Milk

1/2 t. Salt

1/3 C Melted Butter (it needs to be butter!)

1 t. Vanilla

Topping:

1 C Brown Sugar

1/2 C Flour

1/3 C Melted Butter

1 C Chopped Pecans

Bake the potato’s until done. Make sure you use aluminum foil under the potato’s, because their natural sugar will make a hard, zbaked on mess otherwise. If you use canned potato’s…you are on your own.

Combine the ingredients for the casserole and mix thoroughly. Don’t be afraid to over mix. Remember – Smooth.

For the topping, combine all of the ingredients, except pecans. When the topping is crumbly, evenly distribute on the casserole. Now add the chopped pecans.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Next month I’ll continue with a tasty lil muffin that will compliment this casserole.

bon appétit

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