Friday, November 27, 2009

Good morning!

I never mean to be away long when I decide to take a break from here. A week at most is what I promise myself. And then it turns into seven. As you might have guessed, I've been busy. My all consuming second job as a meth dealer,, Big Name Fan of the Wheel of Time series kicked into high gear with the release of the latest book in the series. It's a good book. If you are a fan of the series, you should read it. Anyways, I've still been eating and cooking and reading about food, if perhaps not quite with the dedication my other hobby is getting these days.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, which my parents hosted. It was a very traditional affair and I ate three desserts. My sister, Allison, is an incredible baker. No one can resist her treats.

My contribution was a sweet potato casserole. My family was never big on sweet potatoes growing up, until we realized they didn't HAVE to be boiled to death, then slathered with marshmallow. I think I'm the only one that eats them with regularity, but they are not foreign objects on the dinner table for my parents and siblings.

This casserole recipe is adapted from one given to me by a student. In my Food Appreciation class this month, we've been focusing on Thanksgiving foods. So we've made pie from scratch, this casserole, pumpkin cookies, etc. When I let the students know we'd be making sweet potato casserole, he brought this recipe and I liked it better than my usual one. So we made it, I liked it and now it's mine.

The adaptions are mainly just to lighten it up a bit. The original called for a crazy amount of butter, eggs and sugar, which I have reduced greatly. Sweet potatoes are naturally delicious and really don't require much gussying up to be presentable.

Sweet Potato Casserole

3 cups mashed, cooked sweet potato (I roast mine in the oven, I think it tastes better)
1 egg
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 orange juice
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup dark brown sugar

Combine sweet potatoes, egg, butter and orange juice in a casserole dish. Top with pecans and and brown sugar. Bake at 350 for thirty minutes and serve warm.

The magic ingredient in this, as far as I'm concerned is the orange juice. Citrus and sweet potatoes go surprisingly well with each other. The acidity brings out the natural sweetness of the potato. I'll probably make this again in a few days when we need another Thanksgiving fix.

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