Saturday, January 12, 2019

Brunch Bunch

A good friend invited us to a brunch today, so I took the opportunity to try a new recipe that I knew wouldn't play well at home, namely Sweet Potato Casserole. The dish was mentioned in our November-December co-op newsletter, just in time for the holidays. Which may explain why it was difficult to find fresh or frozen cranberries in January. Nevertheless, it turned out well and appeals to a variety of eaters. The coconut milk just comes across as creamy in the final version (I didn't use shredded coconut), and the dried cranberries and walnuts were crunchy compared to the soft tubers. Originally marketed as "paleo," it is also vegan and gluten free. While the nuts and coconut may limit its appeal to those with allergies or aversions, it does make a pretty and tasty savory dish to go with all the meats and sweets you typically encounter at a potluck brunch.

3 lbs sweet potatoes
1 1/2 cups fresh/frozen cranberries OR 1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1 can full-fat coconut milk (13-15 oz)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (almonds or pecans would work too)
1-3 tbsp maple syrup
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
+/- 2 tbsp shredded coconut
+/- 1 tsp coconut oil

Heat oven to 400F. Bake sweet potatoes ~30 minutes. Meanwhile, mix coconut milk, spices, and maple syrup for the sauce. For the topping, mix the cranberries, nuts, +/- shredded coconut and oil. When the tubers are cool enough to handle, peel, slice thickly, and layer in a 9"x13" baking dish. Pour the sauce over them and strew the topping. Pop back in the oven, uncovered 20-25 minutes until bubbling and golden brown. Best served warm.

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