My students always tease me about French people eating escargots and frog legs and often assume that French people eat a lot of nasty things. But after I show them the wonderful food and desserts that are made in France, they quickly change their mind and beg to come with me to France. Of course I don’t tell them that in France, as many other countries in the world, most the animals’ parts are used for food. Growing up in France, I was encouraged to eat a lot of them. My mom introduced me to everything even though she did not always like them herself saying: “You have to try everything, you will not know if you like it until you try”or “Eat, it is good for you, it is full of iron ( talking about liver). Well because of her, I have always tried everything that was placed in front of me, and only made my judgement after tasting. She proved to be right. There is only one thing I do not care for till this day: Sweet Potatoe Pie.
I will tell you that there were many things that did not appeal to me much until I tried. I am glad today that I had the courage to try them beside my first repulsion, because some of them are now my favorites! Casseroles and more particularly sweet potato casseroles (Potato, brown sugar and marshmallow mixed together?!?!YUK) would have been missed if I had not listened to my mom;-)
Today I will present one of my favorite dish for the holidays: Sweet Potato Casserole.
Though I love the traditional recipe with heavy cream, and brown sugar, I will give you a recipe that is much lighter and that is still very tasty. You will need:
Ingredients for 6 people: 3 large sweet potatoes, 1 cup of light chicken broth, 6 shallots, brown sugar, cinammon, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Peel the potatoes and cut them in large cubes. Place the cut potatoes in a large round mold, cover with the octogonal silpat and microwave for 10 minutes. Once cooked, empty the potatoes in a large bowl and mash them with a potato masher. Add 1 cup of hot broth and whip the potatoes. Add 2 tbsp of brown sugar, a dash of nutmeg, of cinnamon, pepper and mix well. Add salt if you deem necessary. Empty the puree sweet potatoes in a dish and set aside.
Peel the shallots and cut them thinly. In a small frying pan, warm up 1 tbsp of butter and sizzle the shallots. Cook them at medium-high temperature until the shallots are dark brown and are becoming crisp. Add 1 tsp of brown sugar and cook for another minute. Sprinkle the shallots on top of the puree and place the dish in the oven. Cook at 350 for 15 minutes. Et voila!!!
Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!