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Sweet Potato Soufflé Topped with Fresh Anxiety

I don’t like sweet potatoes.

I don’t like sweet potato fries.

I don’t like sweet potato wedges.

I don’t like sweet potato casserole.

But I do, very much, like Honey Baked Ham’s Sweet Potato Soufflé. Why? Probably because it was 10% sweet potato and 90% butter and sugar.

There used to be a Honey Baked Ham close to our house and for a few years in a row, we’d order the soufflé for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

And then everybody thought being kind of healthy? On holidays? Was maybe? A good idea?

Ug.

They’re right. But when I stared down at a bowl of roasted sweet potatoes my mother made that, I am positive were absolutely delicious, my taste buds yearned for that soufflé goodness.

Every time the holidays come around I think about it. So this year, I decided to give it a try, based on my memory of 10+ years ago.

I made it for Thanksgiving. And My mom, grandma, and I did this pandemic-approved swapping of dishes to create a full meal – I sent them some sweet potato soufflé.

They went nuts.

My grandma requested it again for Christmas.

She’s mentioned it almost every time we’ve talked since then. Which I consider one of the most coveted seals of food approval.

Feef doesn’t go ga-ga for just anything. But she went ga-ga for these.

Kitchen Math & My Anxiety: A Symbiotic Tale of Woe

Dudes. My dudes. Folx. My pals. Buddies. Friends.

I am not good at conversions. I’m not good at guessing.

I’ll look at a recipe that says 2 cups of potatoes. And I don’t know how many potatoes that is. So I have to start going “Okay if I need two cups of potatoes and the average potato is .47 pounds, if I factor in the notion that the people shopping the store for me seem obsessed with finding the actual largest versions of all vegetables no matter my courteous and overwrought “notes” on each item in my cart and each cup of solid is approximately, uh, that means I probably need to wait, what were we talking about?”

Liters to cups. Ounces to Tablespoons. And then, oh man, if I have to double or half a recipe. It’s anybody’s guess if we’ll end up with something that makes sense.

It’s been more than once that my husband as walked into the kitchen to see me with, metaphorically, seven pencils stuck in my hair surrounded by scratch paper, heaving with anxiety about whether or not I’m buying enough onion for the week.

Don’t get me started on meat temperatures.

And yes, it’d be nice if I just took the time to make myself a handy chart but I think about that when I’m in the middle of cooking or meal planning which is not the time to dream of craft projects.

I don’t have the answer. A chart is probably good.

With this recipe? I’ve found four standard big ol’ sweet potatoes will usually do you well. I even measured them last time and it came out to about 3 cups. So that makes each sweet potato approximately….a little…bit…over a…whatever.

Honey Baked Hack Sweet Potato Soufflé

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients

  • About 4 sweet potatoes (You’re looking for about 3 cups of mashed sweet potatoes)
  • 1 1/2 C brown sugar, divided (1 C & 1/2 C)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 C whole milk
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted & divided (1 stick & 1 stick)
  • 1/3 C Wondra flour or finely ground flour
  • 1 C chopped pecans – chopp ’em good or pulse ’em but leave it chunky.

Instruments

  • Stockpot
  • Masher or Ricer
  • Various measuring cups, spoons, etc.
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Mixing Spoons or Spatulas
  • Hand mixer
  • 2 qt. casserole dish

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F/180 C/Gas Mark 4 (*I do this by googling it literally every time)
  2. Peel, boil cool, and mash your sweet potatoes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, whole milk, and 1 stick of melted butter.
  4. Mix by hand to incorporate, then, using a hand mixer beat the mixture on medium speed for about two minutes, scraping the sides to incorporate at you go.
  5. Pour the mixture into a greased casserole dish.
  6. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 C brown sugar, flour, 1 stick melted butter and chopped pecans.
  7. Sprinkle the pecan mixture over the top of the sweet potato mixture evenly.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes, until hot and browned, and bubbly.

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