Thursday, August 18, 2011

The right one (Sweet Potato Casserole)

This tale might be a bit graphic for some of you. My family and I went fishing the other day, and I have to say it was a lot of fun. I caught a little fish, that I probably should have thrown back but I was really excited to clean and cook it. I feel like fish is a fairly easy step to take in my goal to be more self-sufficient, and I think it wouldn't have mattered how small it was I would have taken it home to eat. I caught a large mouth bass, much to the delight of my two oldest sons, and they couldn't wait to get it home either.
Upon arriving at the house, I consulted my copy of John Seymour's
The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It, and decided I would try to skin the fish, since that seemed like the easiest option. After boning, skinning, and gutting it, I dredged its remains in flour, salt, and pepper, and lightly sauteed it in butter. I added a bit more butter to the hot pan and a squeeze of lemon and made a simplified mueniere. It was great. The fish was very tender and of course didn't taste fishy at all. My son and husband proudly sampled our reward from the hours of trying to find the right fishing spot.
I can't wait to try again next week.

Since Thanksgiving is almost here I decided I should write about one of our favorite Turkey Day dishes. Ok, maybe I am a little premature, but I saw a fall wreath at Costco yesterday and I'm getting ready for Autumn! Probably, before this month is over I will be listening to Christmas music and gearing up for fall and winter. I love these cooler months of the year and I can't wait to be able to bake comfortably again! Here is a wonderful recipe from Saveur. I spotted it in a magazine a few years back and it has been a Thanksgiving/Easter/Special Event staple since. I have had a few people who claim they don't like sweet potatoes tell me how much they love this recipe. I made a few slight changes. One being the original recipe from Saveur, depicted by the photo below, called for topping half with marshmallows, and half with salted cashews. I do all marshmallows, and honestly I just haven't tried cashews. It would probably be delicious, though.

Sweet Potato Casserole

4 lbs. sweet potatoes
1⁄2 cup evaporated milk
1⁄2 cup sugar
6 tbsp. butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1⁄2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice 
2 eggs, beaten
3⁄4 cup roasted salted cashews
1⁄2 cup light brown sugar
3 tbsp. flour
2 cups mini marshmallows

1. Heat oven to 400°. Place sweet potatoes on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet; bake until soft, about 1 1⁄2 hours. Let cool.
2. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Peel potatoes; pass them through a food mill into a bowl. Whisk in evaporated milk, sugar, 4 tbsp. of the butter, vanilla extract, salt, allspice, and eggs. Transfer to a 2-qt. oval baking dish.
3. In a food processor, pulse together cashews, brown sugar, flour, and remaining 2 tbsp. of butter until coarsely ground. Crumble cashew mixture over half of casserole; top other half with marshmallows. Bake until marshmallows are golden brown, about 30 minutes.
SERVES 8 – 10

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