While it is perfectly acceptable to serve Sweet Potato Casserole at any time of the year, Thanksgiving is truly it’s no-fail security blanket. How many holidays can you remember sitting down between Grandma and Uncle Ed and passing that heavy casserole dish back and forth until it was scraped clean of all traces of its marshmallowy topped goodness? Too many to count!! And while some traditions still hold strong (yes, my husband still asks for the marshmallow topping), it’s never a bad thing to try to expand on a time honored tradition. Please don’t get me wrong… I LOVE the traditional take of sweet potato casserole. Add some cinnamon, some toasted pecans, the creamy thick orange filling that screams harvest with every bite!!… you can almost taste it now, can’t you? Yeah, … me too. Now, let’s try to put a fresh spin on things, shall we?
I’m not going to lie and say this recipe is for everyone but if your family is somewhat open to change or if you are looking for a WOW! dish to serve this year, this is what you have been looking for. If walking on the wild side of sweet potato is not going to work for you, please still give this recipe a try but leave out the chipotle. By itself, it’s an amazing casserole. I put forth this disclaimer because when it comes to sit down traditional dinners such as Thanksgiving, I have learned to tread lightly. There is usually a tiny bit wiggle room for new things, there is even the possibility of Mom throwing everything traditional out the window and ordering Chinese take out (which for years will simply be referred to as “The Year Mom Lost It” when the stories get retold) … and then there is room for small little bits of sassiness to be incorporated into the expected dishes so that your family and friends (and mother-in-laws) will not only be pleasantly surprised but will even go so far as to gush forth compliments on your dangerous sweet potato decision making!!! No, really .. Thanksgiving is scary like that. One wrong step and next year dinner will be at Aunt Bertha’s house instead of yours…. and she doesn’t even coordinate her napkins with her tablecloth, now does she?
Sweet Potato Casserole with Chipotle
You will need:
4 cups sweet potato, cubed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup honey
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbl butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 Chipotle peppers in Adobe sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbl butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees. I don’t care for boiling sweet potatoes so for this recipe I suggest steaming them. Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a pot with a large steamer basket or colander in place. Put the sweet potatoes in the basket, cover and steam until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Then mix together the sweet potatoes, honey, white sugar, eggs, salt, seasonings, butter, milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth or mash together if you prefer your dish to be a bit chunkier.
Now is when you add in your chipotle peppers. I have a small food processor that I use for small jobs like this but you could just as easily dice the peppers up and mix them into your potatoes. I spoon 3-4 spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the food processor and then add two peppers so they blend up real nice and mix beautifully. Check for taste, sometimes I add in the third if the flavor doesn’t come through strong enough and when you are satisfied, add the blend back into your original bowl of potatoes and combine. Transfer your mixture to a 9×13 inch baking dish.
Mix the brown sugar and flour in a medium bowl and cut in the butter until your mixture is coarse and grainy. Stir in your pecans and sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the topping is lightly brown.
I really, really like this dish. It puts an updated spin on a classic side dish without taking away what makes it great to begin with. Let me know what you think 🙂