Sweet potato casserole
I’m inspired by Barbara Kingsolver, author of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. In her book, she argues knowing where food comes from and how it is cared for enhances your eating experience, much like a music appreciation class does for the orchestra. And so I’ve decided to invest in a winter farm share, which my friend Catharine will split with me.
I realize now my kids will think fresh produce comes from our neighbor’s front porch, rather than the grocery store, but at least we’re one step closer to the farmer. And next summer, we’ll become urban farmers, so we’re directly connected to our food source. But I’m not farming in Minnesota in the winter. I’ve shoveled a foot of snow off our front sidewalk after a snowstorm. I can’t imagine digging through frozen ground to get to potatoes.
For now, I bought three orange-skinned sweet potatoes at our grocery store (they’re sweeter than those of the pale yellow variety). Sweet potatoes are an antioxidant food, an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C. They need to be stored in a cool, dark place, not the refrigerator.
I decided to make a sweet potato casserole so I could use my ricer. (To make my applesauce, I had bought a ricer at Williams Sonoma, and now I feel compelled to use it weekly to justify its cost.)
First, I peeled the sweet potatoes. (If you buy organic, you can eat the tuber. But conventionally grown sweet potatoes are often treated with dye or wax. However, when it comes to pesticide contamination, sweet potatoes are on The Environmental Working Group’s “Clean 15″ list, unlike regular potatoes. Those are one of “The Dirty Dozen,” so buy those organic, if possible.)
Next, to reduce cooking time, I quartered the sweet potatoes and dropped them in boiling water. I lowered the heat and cooked until tender, about 30 minutes.
I riced the sweet potatoes and stirred in the following ingredients:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg white
1/3 cup brown sugar (add more for a sweeter casserole)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Then I poured it into a baking dish and sprinkled brown sugar on top.
I covered it with tin foil and put it in the refrigerator. We’ll have it for dinner tonight. I’ll bake it at 350 for 25 or 30 minutes, until it turns dark brown.
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