Here’s a little secret about the sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving. I just make them for my mom and me. Everyone else eats about a tablespoon’s worth of sweet potatoes, but Mama and I eat them like they are the star of the show.
I find most sweet potato dishes to be overly sweet. I don’t want my sweet potatoes to taste like sweet potato pie unless they are going in a butter crust and being served for dessert.
And then there is the issue of marshmallows.
Just say no to the marshmallows. Make these instead. Just don’t tell my Grandmother. (She likes the marshmallows.)
A little orange juice, a lot of butter, some kosher salt and just enough brown sugar.
Top with pecans and cinnamon if you must top with something.
I could eat a bowl of these for lunch like every day. In fact, I might be doing that sometime very soon. Eating sweet potatoes every day. But during the holidays, sweet potatoes just get a fourth of my plate. I have to save room for kale.
Not So Sweet Potato Casserole
4 pounds sweet potatoes
1/4 cup brown sugar + 1-2 teaspoons to sprinkle on top
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional
Boil sweet potatoes in water for about 20 minutes or until soft.
Drain and cool for about 10 minutes or until you can stand to touch them.
The peels should slip off easily with your fingers.
I peel them into a 9 X 13 casserole dish.
Mash the potatoes with a fork. Add in the butter as you are mashing.
Pour orange juice over the potatoes and sprinkle in the salt.
Stir and continue mashing with your fork or you can also use a spoon. I leave a few smallish chunks of potato, so they are not completely creamed, but mashed. You can taste the potatoes at this point and if they are not as sweet as you would like, add a little more brown sugar.
Spread out evenly once everything is mixed in.
Sprinkle top with brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans if using.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until warmed throughout and browned on top.
You can also make these the day before serving, cover and refrigerate. In this case, it will take longer to heat them back up so allow 30 minutes for baking, but only uncover for the last 5-10 minutes to brown the top.