Sweet Potato Souffle

I have been rather MIA lately, sorry about that!  Regardless you are in for a special treat today.  I have a guest blogger, my beautiful daughter.  She made an amazing dish for Thanksgiving this year.  I mean it,  I think I had 3 helpings!  And I certainly wasn’t the only one.  You need to make this!!!
Please give a warm welcome to Kyleigh.

T-Day Challenge 2012: Sweet Potato Souffle!
It’s a holiday classic, yet every year I have kept my distance from this odd dish. Now keep in mind, I’m not one of those picky eater types – and I’ve even joked about living off of mashed potatoes (the normal kind). But something about the so-called “sweet” aspect of the sweet potato just seemed, well, troubling. And I’m guessing I’m not the only one who finds the toasted marshmallow topping as the only enjoyable part of the dish.
But this year, things were going to be different. I don’t know what got into me, but I was determined to make a sweet potato dish that I would actually enjoy this Thanksgiving. It was, as odd as it sounds, my own personal challenge.
So I took to surfing the web for the recipe, relying on reviews & five-star ratings to sift out the good & the bad. Luckily, I stumbled upon this one fairly quickly thanks to the FoodNetwork- and was officially sold on it after watching the fun video tutorial 🙂
And guess what…it was a hit!
Thanksgiving day had come, and I had my fair share of fun whipping up a double batch of the stuff – but when it came time to serve up our plates & eat, I found myself eating around the orange & marshmallow mush, much like my usual self.
But I was shocked to hear my friends & family around me begin asking about the dish – “Who made this? It’s great! … My wife makes a pretty good one, but you’ve GOT to get her this recipe!”
All this flattery & I was motivated enough to try the stuff myself – and it WAS good! Despite my reservations, I was pleasantly surprised with the dish. We’ve even cooked it up a second time for a family gathering since then – and a similar round of compliments were received.
What’s so special about this recipe, you ask? It beats me.
But maybe its the loads of sweets you put in it, making it more like a pumpkin pie than anything (how can you go wrong with butter, cinnamon, brown sugar…). Or maybe my accidental yam mix-up (see ingredient list below) is actually my own secret ingredient. Who knows? I’m just happy to say that I can officially add sweet potatoes to my taste pallet now with this recipe, though they may not have replaced my beloved mashed potatoes 🙂

“Old School Sweet Potato Souffle”
          Butter (for casserole dish)
          3 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed – or YAMS (long story, but I accidentally bought yams instead and they tasted great, if not better! But “Yam Souffle” sounds even less appealing than sweet potato…)
          1 (4.5-ounce) can evaporated milk
          1/2 cup brown sugar
          5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
          1 teaspoon vanilla extract
          1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
          2 eggs
          Salt & black pepper (to taste)
          1 cup coarsely chopped salted cashews (fewer seems to taste better – too much crunch)
          1-2 cups mini marshmallows (your choice – but more marshmallows never hurt!)
1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 2-quart casserole dish and set aside.
2) Add the potatoes to a large pot of cold, salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender (about 20 minutes). Drain in a colander in the sink.
3) Mash the potatoes in a large bowl or mixer. Add the evaporated milk, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, eggs, salt and pepper, to taste. Mix together until smooth. Pour the mixture into the casserole dish and bake for 25 minutes.
4) Remove the casserole dish from the oven and top with stripes of crushed cashews along the top (or completely covered if you really like it). Then cover completely with mini marshmallows. Bake until the marshmallows are lightly toasted, about 5 to 10 more minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.