Candied Sweet Potato Casserole


Candied Sweet Potato Casserole

With the holidays quickly approaching, visions of dinner menus have been dancing in my head. One of my staples is a sweet potato casserole which always receives rave reviews, and I just realized I haven’t posted it. I took the traditional marshmallow-topped dish, and took it to a new level (in my humble opinion). I also decided to use canned sweet potatoes instead of fresh strictly to save on time.

Ingredients

  • 2 (29 oz.) cans sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 2 tbsp. orange juice (if you’re not an OJ fan, you can use skim milk)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt

Topping

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup candied pecans, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix sweet potatoes, 1/4 cup butter, egg, white sugar, oj, marshmallows, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  3. Transfer to a lightly greased 9″x13″ baking dish.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine topping ingredients and mix well (using your hands) to a consistency of course meal. Sprinkle over sweet potato mixture.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until topping is crisp and lightly browned.

Gourmet Sweet Potato Casserole

Top ↑

A Modified Version of Shrimp and Grits


As you may, or may not know, I looooooooove shrimp and grits! While my earlier recipe on here is one of my all-time favorites, this one is simply delicious. I was watching The Chew on Friday, and Carla Hall made a dish called “Swamp Thing”, which was her healthier version of shrimp and grits. Once I saw it was loaded with vegetables, I was sold, and knew I had to try it, which I did later that day with a few small modifications. This recipe does take a little effort, as the grits need to be made about an hour beforehand, and there’s a decent amount of veggie chopping, but trust me when I say, it’s worth it! Thanks Carla!!!

Ingredients

Grits:

  • 1 cup Quick Grits
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup Half & Half (or milk)
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (optional)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • Olive oil (for frying grits)

Shrimp Stew

  • 1/2 pound shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 3 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 onion (medium diced)
  • 1 large carrot (medium diced)
  • 1/4 cup corn
  • Half of a 14.5-ounce can whole plum tomatoes (crushed)
  • 2 cups collard greens (ribboned*)
  • 1 cup sweet potatoes (peeled and diced, or canned)
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 parsnip (peeled and diced)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 quart (4 cups) chicken stock/broth
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil plus more for pan
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Grits

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water, Half & Half, and corn to a boil.
  2. Slowly whisk in grits, avoiding lumps and cook according to package directions.
  3. Once cooked, whisk in butter and cheese (if using).
  4. Pour into greased baking dish, allow to cool, then place in refrigerator for an hour.
  5. At this point, you can start on the stew if you want & come back to step 6.
  6. Remove grits from fridge and cut into 3 inch squares (or desired size).
  7. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat with olive oil.  Fry grits in hot oil until golden on all sides. Remove from pan.

Shrimp Stew

  1. In a heavy bottomed pot, over high heat, add olive oil. Toss in the onions and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes.
  2. Toss in all the other vegetables except for the collard greens and crushed tomatoes, and add olive oil if it seems dry. Coat all the vegetables in oil and continue to cook over high heat, just slightly browning everything.
  3. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and stir. Deglaze with the chicken stock. Add the collard greens, thyme, bay leaf and cayenne, and stir.
  4. Add in the tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are cooked through, about 25 minutes.
  6. Right before serving, toss in the shrimp and simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until the shrimp is just cooked through.
  7. Plate in a soup bowl on top of fried grits.  Season to taste.  Serve immediately.

* To ribbon the collard greens, take some leaves, place them on top of each other, roll them up long-way, and cut small pieces off of the ends. This will form long, thin pieces known as ribbons.

Note: If you don’t do shrimp/shellfish, you can definitely leave it out. Also, feel free to substitute vegetable broth in place of chicken broth. 

Top ↑