Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet, creamy yams with a delicious pecan topping. This lowly root vegetable has definitely come up in the world.
Yams: preheat the oven to 350. Prick the skins of the potatoes and bake them till very soft—a good hour.
Casserole: scoop out and mash the pulp. Add the next 5 ingredients to the potatoes, mixing well, and pour into a 2-quart casserole.
Topping: combine the ingredients for the topping and pour over the top of the casserole. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Tips & Glossary
Basic southern cuisine differs from its Cajun, Creole, and Southwestern cousins in its lack of hot spices. As a result, it's rich but mild—the ultimate in comfort food!
• Crabmeat: meat from the body, legs or claws of numerous varieties of crab. Most prized is jumbo lump from the hind leg. But for crab cakes and casseroles, use regular lump, as well as finback from the body. Claw meat is brown and stronger flavored, though also good for crab recipes. Buy it fresh if you can.
• Greens: typically collard leaves (in the cabbage family), but also kale, turnip and mustard leaves. A staple in Southern cooking, they're usually served with black-eyed peas, accompanied by cornbread.
• Grits: another staple of Southern cooking: coarsely ground corn, cooked as porridge. Once cooked, grits are served plain, baked in a casserole, fried or deep-fried as a fritter. (Think polenta.)
• Pie Crust: store bought crusts are fine. But for the skilled (or more daring) among you, make your own. Here's our recipe—Noel's Pie Crust.
• Yams: a type of sweet potato with an elongated shape and deep orange flesh. A true yam is grown in Africa and Asia is actually quite different from what Americans call yams.
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