Whew! It's been a while since our last post. Sorry about that. Papers, conventions, and work got a bit too hectic for us to keep up. Actually, I just got home from a Sigma Tao Delta (International English Honors Society) convention from New Orleans! It was super fun. Seven members from my university were invited to present papers that we submitted--we were rather proud. Mine was on a novel called The Coquette written by Hannah Webster Foster in 1797. There is a large chance you haven't heard of it, and that's okay. =) The point of my paper was that Hannah Foster was challenging the social conventions of the path to marriage during the eighteenth century . . . and that's all the further I will get into that. If you really are interested in knowing more, just shoot me an email and I'll send you a copy of the paper. Anyway, enough of the conference shenanigans, let's talk about New Orleans! I got to eat a lot of amazing food, including popcorn crawfish, sweet pototao crab soup, blackened drumfish, and beignets (from Cafe du Monde of course). I may have meandered down to Bourbon street a time or two as well. The whole time really was a fun experience, and to pay homage to my trip I decided I needed to make Bourbon Sweet Potatoes. So I googled, found one of the more popular recipes, and made it. Then I ate it, filled my tummy, and was happy. This recipe is seriously delicious--even ask my brother! He was my first taste tester and he LOVED them. I was so proud. The bourbon truly did "spike" the sweet potatoes up to the next level. They were sugary and sweet, and the bourbon gave it an extra little boost of complexity. (As a side note, make sure you use good bourbon as its flavor is very prominent.) Finally, the pecan topping was a perfect compliment to the bourbon sweet potatoes--they bring the tastebuds back down to earth with a warm, nutty flavor. Seriously, this recipe is so unique and delicious that I think you need to put it in this week's meal plan, just sayin'.
Bourbon Sweet Potatoes
Recipe barely adapted from Can't Stop Making Things
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup bourbon (I used Jim Beam)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
--Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
--Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
--Meanwhile, peel and chop the sweet potatoes into 1 1/2 inch chunks. (The smaller they are the faster they get cooked.)
--Once the water is boiling, dump all the sweet potato chunks into the water and cook until softened. When stabbed with a fork, a sweet potato piece should slide off the fork easily.
--While the potatoes are cooking, make the topping. Combine the brown sugar and flour. Then, cut your butter into tiny chunks and incorporate them into the mix with a fork, like you were making pie crust. Once the mixture has many small, coated, butter chunks (they don't all have to be the same size), stir in the chopped pecans. (You can save a few whole pecans to decorate the top of the dish if you'd like.) For now, set the topping aside.
--When the potatoes are fully cooked, remove from heat and drain.
--Next, using a hand mixer (or food processor, or fork, or whatever is easiest), mash the sweet potatoes.
--Add the sugar, butter (which will melt in the hot pot), milk, bourbon, and salt. Mix after each addition.
--Pour the sweet potato puree into an oven proof pan, smoothing the top.
--Take the topping you made earlier and spread evenly over the sweet potato puree. Decorate with reserved whole pecans.
--In the preheated oven, bake for one hour.
--Serve warm, and enjoy!