Sweet potatoes are so yummy! I love it when someone brings sweet potato casserole with yummy pecans on top to potluck.

Can you believe that I had never made a sweet potato casserole until this past Christmas?!

Shameful, I know.

At our Christmas dinner we had baked sweet potatoes. They were kind of an after thought. I had been asked to make a sweet potato casserole for a banquet at church. I was all excited, having never made a sweet potato casserole before. I went out and bought my potatoes, so I would be ready to go. Then, I was asked to not bring the casserole—due to attendance expectations.

Bummer!

What was I going to do with all these sweet potatoes now?

Fortunately, folks decided to come to my house for Christmas dinner. Since I had the sweet potatoes, I baked ’em up and threw them on the buffet with the mashed potatoes and pineapple souffle. There was just so much food! Guess what was left over, well to be honest, a little of everything, but mainly sweet potatoes!

What was I going to do with all these baked sweet potatoes now?

Guess what! Mamaw gave me a great new cookbook for Christmas!

It is a Southern Living cookbook, so you know it has to be good!

This cookbook is full of Southern favorites from Southern diners! There are even a couple of pie recipes from Charolette’s in Keo, AR! Ooo, I could go for a slice right about now!

Anyway, as I was examining my new treasure, I came across a recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole! This one comes from the Ajax Diner in Oxford, Mississippi.

I am sorry to say, there are no pictures of my lovely casserole. There are no comments from the Critics either. To tell you the truth, I didn’t really think about blogging about this experience until today. Notice the blog title says…and fries. I don’t know how I got off on this tangent. Oh, well, an extra recipe!

4 large sweet potatoes (about 3 1/4 lb.)

2 cups firmly packed brown sugar, divided

1 1/4 cups butter, melted and divided

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla

4 large eggs, beaten

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup pecan pieces

3 cups mini marshmallows

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚. Bake sweet potatoes at 400˚ for 1 hour or until tender. Let stand until cool to touch (about 20 minutes); peel and mash sweet potatoes. Reduce oven temperature to 375˚.
  2. Beat mashed sweet potatoes, 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, 1 cup butter and next 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Spoon mixture into a greased 9 x 13 pan.
  3. Combine flour and remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar in a medum bowl; add remaining 1/4 cup butter, stirring until crumbly. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle topping over potatoes. Cover and bake at 375˚ for 1 hour. Uncover  and sprinkle marshmallows over topping. Bake 10 more minutes or until marshmallow are golden. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 10-12 servings.

This was over the top! It was soooo sweet and rich! I think it might have been a little too sweet. Did I just say that? This recipe makes a HUGE casserole. So, make it when you are having a large crew at your house, or you are going to potluck. Even then, you might want to half it.

Now for the …and Fries part. The casserole and the fries really have nothing to do with each other, aside from the obvious common thread, sweet potatoes!

I love sweet potato fries!

I love going to this restaurant in Conway, AR called MarketPlace Grill.

They have yummy, yummy sweet potato fries. They serve them with a Praline Dipping Sauce that is to die for!!!!

I make sweet potato fries all the time. Sometimes I even make a praline dipping sauce by mixing together some melted butter, brown sugar and heavy cream. Oooolala!

Here is how I have been making my fries…

peel ’em, slice ’em, throw ’em in the oven

Sometimes, I will drizzle them with a little olive oil.

They taste great, but they are always a little floppy. I could deep fry them, I suppose. I may as well have regular french fries if that’s the case. By eating baked SWEET potato fries, it at least seems healthier.

I saw a recipe here for guaranteed crispy sweet potato fries. I was intrigued!

Basically, just soak your strips of sweet potatoes, pat them dry, then toss them in a couple of tablespoons of corn starch. I want to emphasize that the blogger says to LIGHTLY coat the sweet potatoes with corn starch. I may have been a little heavy handed with the corn starch. Ugh. I also don’t think I used enough olive oil, nor did I get the potatoes covered good enough. Double, no triple UGH!

Trust me, the Critics had plenty to say about my sweet potato fries. At least they liked the chicken.

Personally, I think they have potential. I just need to be a little more careful when I make them next time.

Critics’ Corner

Chip: These were…interesting.

Megan: As is polite etiquette, I won’t speak my mind. Like I said @ the table: I don’t particularly care for it.

Katie: I didn’t like the sweet potatoes that much. They had a weird taste to them. MmmmMMBLAH!

That’s all I have to say!