For as long as I can rememeber, our Thanksgiving day feast consisted of the same thing each year, a turkey with all the typical sides and pumpkin pie for dessert.
Now, as much as I love many of those dishes, I was in the mood to change things up a little bit. Our family, for the most part, is pretty adventurous when it comes to food, so I knew that no one would mind if I tried to put a new spin on some of the old classics.
Did I ever mention that if you were to walk into our home and a TV is on, it would be tuned into the F@OD NETW@RK? Well, I am addicted and have now converted Nick...he would rather watch cooking than cartoons...I love it!!
So that being said, Last year I watched all of the celebrity chefs show off their turkey day favorites and I decided to throw caution to the wind and ditch my standard repertoire of dishes for some of these new recipes.
I know what you are thinking.....aren't you a little scared to cook "New" recipes that are not tried and true for 20 people coming to your home for thanksgiving??? I have to admit, for a brief moment the unforgetable turkey scene from N@tional L@mpoons Christm@s V@cation went running through my head.....but I quickly snapped out of it....after all, I know my way around the kitchen....how hard could it be to follow the recipes of some celebrity chefs?
Everything went off without a hitch! The TURKEY was very moist and had great flavor and all the sides were really good. Even my first attempt at homemade PUMPKIN pies(crust and all)was a success. My Mom contributed by bringing a classic that we must have at every Thanksgiving....my Nana's potato filling....the recipe has been in the family for years and no holiday would be complete without a helping or two!!
So now to get to the point(sorry, long winded today) Out of everything new, there was clear a winner on the table.....
Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Bananas with Honey
5 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed
4 bananas, unpeeled
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork, put them in a roasting pan and roast an hour to an hour and a half(until fork tender). Toss the bananas into the pan and continue roasting for 10 to 15 minutes, until both the bananas and potatoes are very soft. Remove the pan from the oven but don't turn the oven off.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a large mixing bowl. Peel the bananas and add them to the bowl along with 1 stick of the butter, and the honey. Season with salt and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until everything's well combined and the mixture is fluffy. Spoon into an oven-proof serving bowl and smooth the top.
In a separate mixing bowl, use your fingers to rub together the remaining stick of butter, the brown sugar, flour, and pecans until the mixture is the consistency of coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the sweet potatoes and return to the oven. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the crumbs are golden. Serve hot
Recipe Courtesy of Tyler Florence
***If you have anyone coming to dinner with the peanut allergy or you dislike Pecans, simply remove them from the recipe.
Here is a "hot out of the oven" picture of the casserole and below is a serving for one.
Taking pictures of food is much different than taking pictures of people.....not sure if any of you have tried, but it is really difficult to make the food look good on a plate....I guess it is an art....one that I must work on!
I cannot tell you how many people I have given this recipe to and each one has come back with rave reviews. I actually shared this recipe with two other Moms standing on the soccer field prior to making it last year and they both said that it was the hit of their Thanksgiving meals.
In my opinion, this knocks the socks off the tradtional candied yams or the sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top! It was a nice little change to an old classic.
So along with Nana's potato filling, this is now a must have in our house.
What are the dishes that you must have on your holiday table?