Earlier this week we were part of a “Thanksgiving Family Face-Off” on ABC’s The Chew. I told our kids, “this is a pretend competition.” It’s not like a race you run and have a definitive winner, or a spelling bee when there is a clear RIGHT or WRONG. A cooking competition is entirely subjective based on the particular taste of the judges, in this case five audience members.
I had to keep reminding my kids of this because, like most kids I think, they aren’t great at NOT winning. I feared a tearful scream from my little guy if the trophy went to the other family. I even promised hot chocolate if we didn’t win. Bribery! That always works, eh?
The hosts and producers of The Chew were lovely, and the family we “competed” against is adorable. (They are perhaps the most photogenic family I’ve ever met). They were making a gorgeous macaroni and cheese dish with FIVE cheeses. FIVE?! I can’t compete with FIVE cheeses!
I made my Aunt Ellen’s famous (famous in our family, at least) sweet potato casserole. We even practiced the recipe the night before we left for NYC to make sure I didn’t miss a step on television.
In the end, three out of five of the audience tasters preferred this recipe. (Our children were a little upset they wouldn’t get hot chocolate).
*FULL DISCLOSURE: Our children preferred the other family’s macaroni and cheese. I will try to track that down!
Here’s our recipe:
|Sweet Potato casserole…unleaded. Add bourbon to topping mix to make leaded!|
4 cups sweet potatoes
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup milk whole milk…really!
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract x 2 once for the sweet potatoes and once for the topping!
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans
*note from Kim (I have a sweet tooth so I double this topping mixture)
|1.||Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pierce sweet potatoes with knife and place on a foil covered cookie sheet. You may need to rotate potatoes if not using a convection oven. Put sweet on foil covered rack to cool. (I usually do this a day before!). This should take 40 – 50 minutes…just check on them by sticking a butter knife in them. Should glide right through.|
|2.||In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs, salt, butter ( room temperature), milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. I really mean they looked whipped…fluffy ( Transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish.|
|3.||In medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and flour and vanilla. Yum! Cut in the butter with pastry cutter) until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture. It really clumps but don’t worry! It melts together!|
|4.||Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.|