So I have been converted to the sweet side…
The sweet side of potatoes that is! Thanks to my concept of Roasted Grape Honey Sweet Potatoes I am now a HUGE fan of them! Between Mr. Fantabulous and I, I roast up roughly 8-10 a week. Following my directions on how to make Perfect Sweet Potatoes in the oven, these are so simple and truly cook themselves. I mean what, 5 minutes of that (if that actually) of prep work for a week of awesome food? Yeah, I’m so there!
Now with Thanksgiving coming up, many of you serve sweet potato casserole. I never have though I do make my baby Candied Sweet Potatoes which are a royal PITA! First you par-boil them, peel them, cool them, dip in stuff and then pan sear in an almost caramel-sauce. You get splatters, sugar burns and it STINKS after a while as the sugar burns. Then the cleanup… grrrrrrrrrrr. It just sucks! But I make them as those are one of his favorites. And yes, I will be making them again for him for Thanksgiving. It makes him happy and seeing him happy makes me happy. Ah love… ♥
This Thanksgiving I wanted to provide you all a Sweet Potato Casserole recipe that I approve of (and would eat) cause you all know I’m such a picky eater and a food snob. I threw in some sweet potatoes to roast up another batch and as I was trying to figure out what I could put in this casserole I saw some lonely bananas that were a tad dark for me to eat but no where near ripe enough for baking. Since I love roasted bananas I decided to throw a couple into the oven towards the end of the potatoes baking time and see what happens. Once they were done and cool enough to handle I scooped and squoze (squoze in my world means to squeeze out something) out the banana flesh into the bowl with the potatoes. I literally used a fork to mix it together. I tasted it – bland so I went with my newest favorite – honey and cinnamon. It was good but a tad sweet from the banana so I opted for some salt which balanced it out. Since I needed to bake this I wanted to add some fat to it so it wouldn’t dry out thus I channeled my inner Paula Deen and added some melted butter. Now this mixture by itself was AWESOME but for me, it needed another texture. And since this was sweet I had to go with streusel, just HAD to!
I went with just a basic streusel mixture – flour, cinnamon, brown sugar and butter. Great but… It needed something.
It just didn’t feel complete. I wanted another level of flavor; another texture.
So literally I rummaged around my kitchen for a good 10 minutes before it hit me. No, actually before it burned me. See I wasn’t paying attention (broken rule #1 in the kitchen – PAY ATTENTION) and went to move a hot pan only I forgot it was hot. Yeah… lovely little burn. So after cursing like a sailor, I went to the freezer to grab some ice. As I went to close it the bag of pecans fell out. I picked it up, shoved it back in only to have it fall out again. It did this 3 times. Needless to say I was cursing even more, my hand hurt and the damn bag wasn’t ‘listening’ to me. LOL Then when I picked it up on the 4th time I kind of looked at it, looked at the streusel and THEN it hit me.. DUH! Put the pecans IN the streusel genius! I think the pecans were jumping out on purpose as they wanted in on that party! LOL
So I chopped up some, with my other hand – man, can I say that unless you’re truly ambidextrous trying to do ANYTHING with your other hand is near impossible! I looked like a 3 year old trying to cut something out perfectly. HAHA but I managed to chop them up, add them to the mix and put on top.
As this baked I waited patiently. Okay I actually was side tracked as I had to put some burn cream on my hand and bandage it.
However I didn’t mind as the smells that were coming from the oven were amazing! This was so in my belly very shortly!
I took it out and let it rest just a few. I took the first bite…
WOW! I mean pure WOW! It was just pure perfection! The bananas lent such a nice natural flavor without having it taste banana-y. You tasted the potato and that streusel. My word that streusel! The pecans, honestly, made the dish! Now this is perfect as-is however I drizzled just a wee bit more honey on top and that set it from a perfect 10 to a perfect bajillion and one! It’s totally your call though. Just make this people, seriously.. MAKE THIS!
- 6 medium-large sweet potatoes
- Olive oil
- 2 yellow bananas (not too ripe), unpeeled
- 6 Tbl melted butter, unsalted
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature cut into small cubes
- 1/3 cup honey plus additional for drizzle
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 cups pecans, rough chopped
- Preheat the oven 450F with the rack in the middle.
- Scrub the Potatoes – Scrub the potatoes thoroughly under running water and pat them dry. You don’t have to remove the eyes, but trim away any blemishes with a paring knife.
- Season the Potatoes – Rub the potatoes all over with a little olive oil. It’s easiest to use your hands, but a pastry brush also works fine.
- Prick with a fork or sharp knife (watch your fingers) – Prick the potatoes in a few places with the tines of a fork. This allows steam to escape from the baking potato.
- Roast your potatoes per these instructions. I prefer to place a piece of foil on the lower rack and then roast the potatoes directly on the middle rack. I find the skins crisp up better.
- 35 minutes into your potatoes baking place the bananas (in the peel) on a pan and place in the oven with the potatoes.
- Roast for an additional 15-25 minutes or until the bananas are super soft and the potatoes when pierced with a knife are super soft.
- Remove them from the oven and reduce the temp to 375F.
- When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a large mixing bowl. Discard the potato skin.
- Squeeze out the bananas into the bowl discard the peels.
- Add the melted butter, honey, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon and salt.
- Since the potatoes and bananas are soft just use a mixing spoon or even a big form to mix everything until well combined and smooth. You don’t want any chunks.
- Spoon this into a 9x9 glass baking dish OR a 2-3 quart casserole dish and spread evenly.
- In a separate mixing bowl, place the flour, remaining cinnamon and brown sugar.
- Whisk to combine and break up the clumps.
- Using a pastry cutter, fork or your fingers cut in the 1 stick of butter until it resembles crumbs.
- Add in the pecans and gently mix.
- Sprinkle the streusel mixture over the sweet potatoes and place the pan in the oven.
- Cook for 20 minutes or until the streusel is golden brown, a little crusty and the pecans have a brown hue to them.
- Remove from the oven and drizzle honey over top right before serving.