Monday, March 15, 2010

Candied Sweet Potatoes

This is a very out of place post; I'll just fore-warn you there. Please note that the unconventional food photo of all my cousins DOES contain the finished dish. It's the one on the hright underneath Kelli's (in the pink) plate. I also made those rolls on the left under Kimo's (beardman) plate, which also contains a little serving of today's dish. Okay, enough with the rambling. Today, we're visiting sweet potatoes. Yup, those orange root things that we only eat around Thanksgiving. A lot of times, some aunt ruins the dish by putting marshmallows on top. Not this one. This sweet potato casserole is perfection. I could eat it every day. Really. Thank you America's Test Kitchen for creating this new craving.

Sweet Potato Ingredients:
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch chunks
5 lbs. sweet potatoes (7 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Topping Ingredients:
2 c. pecans (I used 1 c. walnuts because I ran out of pecans)
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch cayenne pepper
pinch cumin

1. For the sweet potatoes: melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the sweet potatoes, brown sugar, water, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring often until the sweet potatoes are tender (a paring knife can be slipped into and out of the center with very little resistance), 45-60 minutes.
2. When the sweet potatoes are tender, remove the lid and bring the sauce to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat. Continue to simmer until the brown sugar mixture has reduced to a glaze, about 8 minutes.
3. For the topping: Meanwhile, mix together all the ingredients for the topping in a medium bowl.
4. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Pour the potato mixture into a 9x13" baking dish. Spread the topping over the potatoes. Bake until the pecans are toasted and crisp, 10-15 minutes.

I made it the night before, doing everything except step 4, then baked the next day right before dinner.