Saturday 29 November 2014

Liz Hoosier's Sweet Potatoes

I am a relatively recent convert to the side dish of sweet potato casserole. As kids growing up, we were only ever served sweet potatoes as a boiled vegetable, served with nothing but their own steam as sauce. My friends would all rave about their Thanksgiving marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes, something that sounded hideous to me.

I first had sweetened sweet potatoes at my sister-in-law's house. My family was amazed by them, all the men going back for more, and when we asked for the recipe, the mother just looked at us as if we were aliens. "Just lots of butter and brown sugar." And she meant it.

I made them that way a few times, but then while wasting time on facebook one day, I saw this recipe appear on my friend's wall and I knew I had to try it.

It's not so sickening as the marshmallow topped varieties of casserole, instead opting for brown sugar and pecans on top, but it is still fully capable of giving you a heart attack. A Thanksgiving dish for sure, one for special occasions.

I've adapted it only slightly, adding in more sweet potatoes than in the original, but don't worry - you'd never guess it had been made "healthier". Trust me.

The first step is simple, and easiest to do the night before. I chopped up a few large sweet potatoes (the orange kind) and steamed them.

There's no point in peeling them first, because once they are cooked the peel comes right off. I let them cool overnight for easier handling.

As it was Thanksgiving, and I was going to be cooking a LOT of different things in one day, all by my gosh darned self, I also measured out the rest of the ingredients. Look - I even used metal prep bowls like a tv chef! Do you think they get theirs at Ikea too?

The next morning, the peels slid off as I plopped the sweet potatoes into a bowl for mashing.

And in went some nice healthy ingredients: butter, sugar, eggs, condensed milk, and vanilla.

Once it was a glorious, happy mix, I put it into two dishes. I used two to make it easier to microwave later to reheat it.

On top went a mixture of butter, brown sugar, flour, and pecans.

Then into the oven for a while and this crunchy topped glory is ready. Everyone will thank you. And they will widen their eyes in horror when you tell them what's in it, but they'll still go back for more.

You can see why. Liz Hoosier, I salute you. 

Liz's Hoosier Sweet Potatoes:

3 large sweet potatoes 
3/4 cups butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup condensed milk

Steam sweet potatoes until soft. Mash together with eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla and milk. Add to potatoes. Place in greased 9 x 13 pan or two smaller dishes.

1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 stick butter
3/4 cup pecans

Mix together sugar, flour and butter. Place on top of potatoes. Cover with nuts. Push pecans down into potato mixture. Cook 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve hot.

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