We have a great local DJ, Doug (Dougie) Hitchcock, on Thunder Country. He does the late afternoon into 7:00 p.m. show and always has tidbits to share as well as good music. Right before Thanksgiving, he said that yes, survey results were that the favorite holiday meal side dish was the green bean casserole. I wasn’t surprised and the friends who hosted this year did theirs with bacon added. That was a variation we certainly enjoyed.
Moving on though to the traditional sweet potato casserole also usually found on the table/buffet line. Notwithstanding our deep Southern roots, neither Hubby nor I are sweet potato fans. We definitely don’t like the usual method of adding even more sweetness to with brown sugar or maple syrup and topping with marshmallows. However, a few years ago Hubby ran across a savory version that included part of a chipotle pepper in adobe and lots of cheese. Now in all fairness, any time you use chipotle, it can be tricky because the peppers vary in intensity of heat. An option is a quarter teaspoon red pepper flakes or leave it out altogether. The rest of the recipe should work if you prefer no heat. I do take a short cut as our Publix has containers of mashed sweet potatoes in refrigerator section.
Step one. Rough chop half a small onion. Peel two whole cloves of garlic. Coat with favorite olive oil or use olive oil spray and roast in 350 oven approximately 20 minutes until caramelized and soft. Mash the garlic with a fork and mix in with the onions. While those are roasting, take one container of prepared sweet potatoes. Follow the directions for microwaving them for 1-2 minutes less than the full time. When partially cooked, place the potatoes in a bowl. Stir in two tablespoons butter/margarine and half teaspoon kosher salt. Add the roasted onions, garlic and spicy pepper (if desired). Stir in 1 cup grated cheese (whatever you like; we use a six-cheese Italian blend). Put mixture into buttered casserole dish and top with grated Parmesan (can use any hard Italian cheese). Baked covered (can use foil) for 25 minutes and check. If top not lightly browned, bake for another 5-10 minutes uncovered.(You may need to add 1/4 milk to mixture before baking if it is really stiff. The butter and roasted onions/garlic should give enough moisture)