Sweet Potato Spoon Bread

I was so excited for my leftover lunch today that I nearly skipped down the hallway at work on my way to the microwave. A little piece of comfort in a bowl. That's what this recipe is. Everytime I place another spoonful in my mouth, my internal dialogue sings "This is so good!"

Our final CSA veggie box contained a plethora of sweet potatoes. Many will be cooked, mashed and then frozen for a later date, but I reserved a few to try out this recipe from my new favorite cookbook Super Natural Cooking.

Spoon bread is traditionally a southern casserole that uses cornmeal as the primary ingredient and has a pudding-like consistency. Making spoon bread from sweet potatoes causes this side dish to be a nutritional super hero while providing the comfort we need on cold, snowy days. It is heavy. It is decident. It is delicious.

First make a paste with some flour, water, onion powder, salt, and pepper.

I like the spoon bread's consistency better than other sweet potato casseroles. The spoon bread has a thicker, almost whipped texture. Most sweet potato casseroles have a thinner, less stiff texture.

Then, stir in the mashed sweet potatoes, browned shallots (it will take some willpower to not pop them into your mouth!), and eggs.

The spoon bread is spiked with spoonfulls of goat cheese, which was amazing (when isn't it!) and horribly messy when putting this together. I needed to add a couple tablespoons of water to my goat cheese to soften it up enough to get it to a whipped cream consistency. It got all over. Next time, I will use a bigger bowl.

The recipe doesn't call for it, but this would be amazing with some nutmeg. I sprinkled some on my leftovers, and it brought out the sweetness of the potatoes even more. The next time I make this, I will add a teaspoon or so to the sweet potato batter. I don't want to taste the nutmeg much at all; I just want to add a little more depth to the flavor.

If you already have mashed sweet potatoes, this dish can be ready in an hour with most of that time just waiting for it to bake. This means you'll have time to make the main dish to go with it. This would be good with a crunchy salad with marinated beans. The crunchy texture and freshness of the salad would help to balance the heavy, creamyness of the spoon bread.

I can't wait for my lunch tomorrow. I still have leftovers!

Sweet Potato Spoon Bread
6 servings, 60 minutes with cooked sweet potatoes (130 minutes with raw sweet potatoes)
From Super Healthy Cooking by Heidi Swanson

3 medium sweet potatoes or 3 cups sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
1/3 cup unsalted butter
4 large shallots, sliced
6 ounces goat cheese
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup boiling water
3 large eggs

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Wrap each potato with foil and prick several times. Bake for 60-90 minutes or until tender. Let cool slightly. Scoop the flesh into a bowl and mash with a fork. You should have 3 cups of mashed potatoes.
  2. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 2-quart casserole dish.
  3. Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until shallots are golden and butter has browned, about 9 minutes. 
  4. Blend goat cheese with a fork until fluffy like whipped cream. Add a few tablespoons of water (a little at a time) to the cheese if needed to help the process.
  5. In a large bowl, combine flour, onion powder, salt, and a pinch or two of pepper. Add a small amount of boiling water and stir to combine. Continue adding water in small amounts and stirring well. You will have a thick paste that will be a little lumpy. Stir in the sweet potatoes. Then, stir in the shallots and browned butter. Finally, stir in the eggs, one at a time.
  6. Place two-thirds of the mixture into the prepared dish. Dollop the cheese onto the top of the sweet potatoes. Then, add the rest of the sweet potatoes in dollops too. 
  7. Bake, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned and potatoes have set. Enjoy!

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