It’s blog hop week here on the blog. Yesterday, it was all about peace; now it’s all about community, sharing, and happiness. It’s all very zen.
I’m excited to be a part of author Pavarti K. Tyler’s Celebrating Community Blog Hop. Today through Sunday, participants in the Hop will be writing about friendship, family, happiness, togetherness, and (my favorite topic, obviously) food. Want to see who else is participating? Click on the banner at the top!
Today, it’s all about the delicious noms.
There are many things I love to eat–and many things I cook well–but the thing (or, rather, things) that I cook and love to eat the best involve Thanksgiving Dinner. I am a rockstar at Thanksgiving Dinner. In fact, I’m pretty sure my turkey is what won my husband’s heart. I’m also sure that it was this sweet potato casserole that got me the rock.
And so, in the spirit of getting everyone hitched in the upcoming holiday season, I share with you my unbelievably simple, and yet fully delectable, sweet potato casserole (henceforth forever known as The Bridal Yams).
One 16 ounce can of Bruce’s Yams
One 11 ounce can of Dole Mandarin Oranges
One 20 ounce can of Dole Crushed Pineapple
1/4 cup of light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
A quarter to half a stick of salted butter, cut into chunks or pats
Marshmallows (I like the big ones, but mini ones are fine, too)
The beautiful thing about the Bridal Yams is that they are pretty much a taste-as-you-go sorta dish, and they require exactly five minutes to put together. Here’s what you do:
[Oh, side note: You'll notice everything I listed is canned. The reason for that is simple--everything is already cooked (the yams), smooshed (the pineapple), or sectioned (the mandarin oranges) which makes things much easier. If you want to go au naturel and cook everything from scratch, feel free--just remember you'll have to cook the sweet potatoes beforehand.]
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Drain the yams. Put them in the casserole dish you will be using. Using a potato masher, mash them up until they are a fairly smooth consistency (if you don’t feel like building up your forearms, you can also use a food processor. I like the masher because it leaves a slightly fibrous quality to the yams, which ends up baking well).
Add the brown sugar. If you’re not into very sweet things, you can cut the brown sugar in half (but you may need to add the other half in later, after you add the citrus).
Add the cinnamon.
Mix the yams, sugar, and cinnamon together.
Drain the mandarin oranges and the pineapple. Do not add them to the yams all at once. If you do, you could end up with nothing but runny citrus-flavored sweet potatoes (yum?). Here is where the culinary artistry comes in. Alternating between the oranges and the pineapple, add a bit at a time until you get both the right consistency for the concoction (slightly softer than mashed potatoes) as well as the right taste (you want to be able to taste the citrus-y elements without overpowering the yams. Make sure you mash it all together.
Add the butter. Mmmm.
Once that’s all put together, smooth out your casserole in your baking dish. I typically use a rectangular clear-glass baking dish that ends up being about 2/3 full to the top once I’ve put in my casserole (sans marshmallows); to each their own.
Top it all off with marshmallows. Master Tip: Do not crowd the marshmallows! If you do, they’ll overrun the dish, which will make you have a frowny face (and will stink up your kitchen with smoke coming from the oven). We all want our cups to runneth over, just not with melty marshmallow. You should be able to see a little of the casserole between each marshallow–trust me, it’ll all look good in the end.
Pop that bad boy in the oven. For how long? Until the marshmallows are both deliciously melty and browned to a golden hue on top. However long that takes (usually 15-20 minutes, although it may take longer). You don’t need to worry about things being raw–everything in the dish is already cooked! All you’re doing is warming things up and melting the mallows.
And then? Oh, and then. Then you let that sucka cool off, and THEN YOU NOM ON IT. Preferably with a deliciously juicy slice or two of turkey, stuffing, some creamy mashed potatoes and spicy gravy, peas, carrots, and cranberry sauce.
Good Heavens, my salivary glands are in overdrive.
One final Master Tip: Do this dish near the end of your holiday dinner prep. It doesn’t take long to make, and it doesn’t take long to bake.
Yield: Allegedly 6-8 servings. In my house, though, it’s all for me.
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