Do you ever feel like the weeks just get away from you sometimes? That’s how it’s been for me the last week or so. Sometimes the weeks just get busier and busier…and we have Thanksgiving in a couple weeks! Luckily, I’ve had some spare time to plan out a couple recipes to test and taste to see how they come out… so far so good.
Sweet potato is one of my all time favorite veggies. It’s one of the few that I don’t have to add anything to it to enjoy it. Luckily it not only taste sweet but is packed with nutrients… a win! One of the reason’s I love Thanksgiving so much is because you can usually find a sweet, scrumptious version of sweet potato among the spread…sometimes I wonder if it’s really a side dish or a dessert….we’ll say it’s a side for now so we can still have our dessert later!
This recipe is a winner for any sweet potato fan. The sweet richness of the sweet potato topped with brown sugar and pecans (and marshmallows if your like me) will pair perfectly with your Thanksgiving feast, or even just your everyday casual dinner at home.
Let’s get started shall we?
Before we get right into it, I’d just like to mention that this recipe feeds a family…and then some, which is why I think it’s perfect for the upcoming holidays. You can always expect lots of people and lots of food this time of year. That being said…back to the recipe.
Start of with 5 lbs of sweet potato. As you’ll see in the photo below, I bought 3 HUMUNGOUS potatoes from my local farmer’s market but together they equaled 5 lbs.
Rinse the potatoes and pat dry with a paper towel. Peel off all the skins completely and cut into decent sized chunks. When I say decent I mean small enough to be workable: you want them to all fit into your pot of water and be easy the mash after boiling, as demonstrated below.
Once you’ve prepped your potatoes place them into a large cooking pot, fill with water (enough to cover the potatoes), cover with a lid, and bring to a boil on medium – high heat. Continue boiling for 20 – 25 minutes.
While your sweeties are boiling you can start on (in my opinion) the best part – the topping!
The topping for this souffle is self rising flour, light brown sugar, chilled unsalted butter, and chopped pecans. In a medium sized bowl, combine your flour and light brown sugar, give it a few stirs to bring it together. Add in your chilled butter. I cut mine into 8 table spooned sized cubes, simple enough right. Now at this point you have two options: 1) you can use a fork or pastry cutter to combine the flour, sugar and butter together or 2) use your hands…that’s what I did. I don’t own a pastry cutter at the moment and I felt like a fork would take forever. You may have to work with the mix a little bit, that’s why I found that using your hands is probably easier. After a few minutes your topping should look like this:
If there’s still clumps of butter than you did perfect, it’s going to melt beautifully when we bake this in the oven. Yum!
Now throw in your chopped pecans. You can buy whole pecans and chop them yourself or do the lazy thing ( again, my option) and buy chopped pecans… it can be a time saver.
Give the mix a few more stirs and set a side, your potatoes are just about ready to pull from the stove top. Once the boiling time is up your potatoes will be soft, tender, and resemble that bright, beautiful orange color hue their known for, not to mention they’ll smell delicious! Strain the potatoes and return them to the pot ( not on the hot burner).
Now we’re going to add a few easy ingredients to heighten their sweetness and to turn them into a souffle; the rest of the brown sugar, white sugar, 2 eggs, heavy cream, and a splash of vanilla extract. What I like about this recipe is that after you’ve mashed the potatoes you can directly add the other ingredients in and stir it with a whisk and just watch everything absorb and come together.
Now add your sweet potatoes into a casserole dish and smooth out the top, we have to make room for the delicious pecan topping.
Here’s what it should look like before you put them into the oven:
And here’s what they look like coming out of the oven…
As you can see everything has melted, browned, and united beautifully. The crunchy texture of the pecan topping paired with the soft, smoothness of the sweet potato underneath is out of this world. Definitely a favorite for me, hopefully for you too And it wasn’t even that hard to do right?!
Now, if your like me, you have to take it one step further and add marshmallows. If marshmallows aren’t your thing, skip ’em. But, if you chose to add them all you have to do is let the souffle bake as directed for 20 minutes, and then before the last 5 minutes of bake time remove from the oven and simple garnish with mini marshmallows. Place back in the oven for the last 5 minutes to brown your marshmallows to perfection.
I only did half of my souffle with marshmallows so you could see the comparison. Both are equally satisfying but my spoon always goes for the marshmallows.
What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?