Hey, it's Mark again with another one of my favorite sweet potato recipes. From what I've been told, Granny Cochran -- and she was definitely granny, not grandma -- was quite a woman. Unfortunately, she passed when I was too young to really remember her. But if mom is any reflection of her at all, then she really must have been an impressive lady. Growing up, we ate things that had been staples for mom growing up - biscuits and cocoa gravy, sweet potatoes in a syrup, fried chicken, and so much more.
I like these sweet potatoes any time, but they're oh so good for the holidays. This is very much a family recipe, so I'm going to list it twice - once as it was given to me and once with my best translation from 'mom measurements' to 'standard measurements' (just teasing, love you, mom).
The recipe, as given:
Some sweet potatoes
a bit of sugar, now make sure you use white sugar, not brown sugar
a good amount of milk
6 or so pats of butter, not too thick but not too thin
For best results, bake them in a 13" cast iron skillet but use whatever you've got to bake them in. You can stack them up in a couple of layers and they'll still cook up just fine.
Take some sweet potatoes, peel them, then slice them lengthwise and lay them in your baking dish. I've found that slicing them lengthwise makes them cook up the best. Now sprinkle the sugar over the top of them, a good bit of it so they're covered but not too much. Pour a good amount milk on them, cream's better if you have it but you can use milk. Don't use too much or the syrup won't thicken but you don't want it too thick. After that's done, spread out the pats of butter across the sweet potatoes. Bake until the potatoes are tender and syrup is thick.
Translation after asking a few questions:
4-5 large sweet potatoes
1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of milk or cream
3 tablespoons of butter, cut into 6 pats
Peel sweet potatoes and slice lengthwise then place in baking dish, stacking if needed.
Sprinkle sugar evenly across the sweet potatoes.
Pour the milk or cream over the sweet potatoes.
Place the pats of butter evenly across the potatoes.
Bake on 350 for 45-60 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and syrup is at a desired consistency.
Hi folks, this is Mark and I'll be providing the recipe today. But first, if you'll indulge me, I'd like to tell a story about the recipe. Grandma Mitchell was many wonderful things however a great cook was not one of them. She had some dishes she could do very well but for the most part, food was simply something you had to eat. This was not the case, though, once the holidays came around. She fixed for us what was then, and is still to this day, one of my favorite dishes -- it's just so good. It's the sweet potato recipe I'll be providing in just a bit.
So imagine my concern one Thanksgiving, when she brought over sweet potato balls for dinner and they were terrible. They had almost a soapy taste to them. This was THE dish. This was the one thing that she always made well. What was wrong? Was there something going on with grandma that we didn't know about? I had to say something about it but I had to be delicate about it. So I took mom aside and told her, "I think there's something wrong with grandma. You know she can make the sweet potatoes, right? Well, these sweet potatoes are terrible! Something has to be wrong. There's just no other excuse.
Later, after dinner was but a memory and grandma had headed back home, mom started laughing and asked if I wanted to know what was wrong with the sweet potatoes. Of course I did! And it was then that I learned the horrid truth of those sweet potato balls -- they were from a can. It seems grandma had been busy and hadn't had time to prepare sweet potatoes to make them but she knew how much I loved them and wanted to make sure they were there. So, she bought a can of sweet potatoes and later told mom what she had done, adding, "I hope nobody noticed." Thankfully, we had several more Thanksgivings with grandma and also thankfully, we had no more with canned sweet potatoes.
The recipe - This isn't exactly Grandma's recipe but it's close. I've added some embellishments to it and recommend you play around with it, too. That's part of the fun of cooking.
4-5 large sweet potatoes
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup butter
8 large marshmallows
1 cup crushed corn flakes (or if you want to be fancier about it, use chopped pecans or walnuts)
Utensils (not all necessary but they definitely make the job easier):
1 quart zip lock bag
ice cream scoop
First, we need to convert the whole sweet potatoes to mashed potatoes. You can peel, cube, then boil them until soft which is not a fun time for me. You can bake them in the oven for more time than I have patience for. Or you can do it the way I do and poke some holes in them with a fork, then bake them in the microwave. I like this method because once they're done, you can let them cool slightly, halve them, then scoop them right out of the peel with a large kitchen spoon. Whichever method you decide to go with, the important thing is to cook them to a soft, mashable state but not to overcook them. While the potatoes are baking/boiling, take the corn flakes and crush them, if not already done. The easiest way is to put them in the quart bag and roll over them with a rolling pin or large glass jar. You can also do it by putting them in a large bowl and pressing them with the bottom of a coffee cup.
Now that we have our potatoes, we need to mash them: combine your cooked potatoes, butter, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. Now mash them. You can use a stick masher, mixer, or stand mixer -- just mash them until they're smooth and consistent and can hold together well when rolled into a ball.
We have some delicious mashed sweet potatoes now that would be just fine for eating as-is. But that's not what this recipe is about. Now you want to take your ice cream scoop and scoop out some of the sweet potato mixture. If you're not using an ice cream scoop, use a spoon to scoop out about a lemon-sized scoop of the mixture. Into the center of this scoop, press one of the large marshmallows. Turn the scoop out into your hand and roll into a ball around the marshmallow. If your cornflakes are in the quart bag, drop the ball into the crushed corn flakes (or nuts if you went that route), toss around until covered, then place on an oiled or parchment-covered baking tray. Continue until out of marshmallows or potatoes.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until the marshmallow just starts to run. Serve warm and enjoy!
It's the time of year for root vegetables. Carrots are easy to work into stews, roasts, glazes, cakes, and other recipes. But if you're like me, the mere mention of beets makes you 'beet' it out of the room. I never have been able to eat them. Mark loves them though, and convinced me to try them this way and... I really liked them! We've had them a few times now and I enjoy them. Hopefully the spices in these will have you 'cumin' back for more!
Place the whole beets in an oven-safe dish, drizzle with 2 Tbsp of olive oil, cover, and bake at 375 for one hour or until beets are tender.
While the beets are baking, toast the almonds in a dry sauce pan on medium heat until golden.
Let the beets cool slightly, then peel them and chop into bite-sized pieces (approximately 1/2" cubes).
Combine beets, almonds, remaining olive oil, lime juice, cumin, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly and serve warm.
My name is Susan and I, along with my husband Mark, am the owner and operator of The Corner Cabinet, LLC. I spend my days baking the goodies we sell in our store and love trying out new recipes. I'll be sharing recipes here periodically, in the hopes that others enjoy them as much as we do. The recipes posted will be recipes we've either tried and enjoyed or are my own personal recipes. Any jokes or puns posted are all Mark's and I apologize in advance for them.