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Orange flavor highlights these sweet potatoes

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Sweet potatoes are often served at Thanksgiving, but they still are good to have for Christmas. As a youngster, the only way I recall sweet potatoes being prepared were candied, or glazed with a syrup as they baked. I eventually discovered sweet potato puddings, casseroles and of course, sweet potato pie.

Many cooks rely on a sweet potato casserole to go with their holiday meal, but I'd like to share a version that varies from the traditional version you may used to serving. The late Cecile Bost shared this recipe for one that has the flavor of orange added, called "Cecile Bost's Orange Sweet Potato Casserole". This casserole not only has a different flavor because of the orange juice called for in the recipe, but it also has raisins, which go very well with the potatoes.

This recipe also is assembled differently from what you may be accustomed to when you make this type of casserole. For one, the potatoes are boiled in their skins until they are tender. They're peeled and sliced, then placed in a casserole dish. You then make an orange sauce that goes over the potatoes. This bakes for about thirty minutes, then, if you like them, miniature marshmallows go over the potatoes and bakes until lightly browned.

You'll see in the recipe that it calls for medium-sized sweet potatoes. When selecting sweet potatoes, choose the ones that are uniform in shape and size. This will guarantee even cooking when you boil them. When boiling them, if you're able to insert a fork easily through the potatoes, then they're done. It takes a while to cook a sweet potato by boiling, so allow plenty of time for doing this.

This recipe serves eight, so it'll go very well if you're planning on a holiday dinner. If you're serving only four, half of the recipe can be prepared, as the proportions divide easily. I've found this recipe to be very good, so I'm actually glad when there's some leftover from a meal!

About two years ago, I shared a recipe for "Apple-Sweet Potato Casserole", which is another good way to serve this favorite potato. To get this, along with two other fall recipes, follow this link:

http://www.examiner.com/article/get-a-taste-of-fall

And, if you're in need of some Christmas dinner suggestions, here's a video that can help you with that:

http://www.examiner.com/article/christmas-dinner-menu-suggestions

Let the flavor of oranges brighten the sweet potatoes in this casserole!

CECILE BOST'S ORANGE SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE

  • 8 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup brown sugar, either light or dark
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 cups miniature marshmallows (optional, but recommended)

Boil the potatoes until tender. Peel, slice and place in a buttered baking dish, about 9x13 inches. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, salt and cornstarch. Blend in the orange juice and orange peel. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Add butter, raisins and walnuts. Mix thoroughly and cook for 1 more minute. Pour sauce over the potatoes. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, basting occasionally. Just before removing from oven, top with the marshmallows and brown lightly. Yield: 8 servings.

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