Recipe: Coconut Sweet Potato Casserole
Coffee: La Colombe’s Guatemala – Tomastepec
Although sweet potatoes are an integral part of our fall menu, that doesn’t mean that we don’t experiment with the global flavor base. In this one, coconut milk and curry powder give the typical sweet potato casserole a Thai edge for lightly exotic flavor that compliments any spicy meat, like the Island pork roast or coffee-rubbed chicken thighs. It also makes a stand-alone vegetarian main course.
2 cans coconut milk
2 cups peeled white pearl onions
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon hot curry powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
5 medium-sized sweet potatoes (get 6 for safety), peeled, quartered, and chopped into large cubes (1-inch), about 10 cups
– A good way to measure: The raw potato cubes should completely fill the baking casserole, up to the rim. As the potatoes cook down with the other ingredients, they will fit perfectly.
2 cups frozen peas
3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
2 cups whole milk yogurt (if desired)
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Add the coconut milk, onions, garlic, curry powder, and salt to a soup pot (large enough to hold all of the ingredients), and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Cover and continue to simmer until the onions become tender and start to lose their hard white color, turning a little slightly translucent. (The onions will keep cooking throughout the entire process so they don’t need to be fully cooked right at this point.)
Stir in the sweet potatoes, and continue to simmer (covered) until just fork tender (but not falling apart), about 15 more minutes. Stir in the frozen peas, taste, and adjust seasoning as desired. Ladle the vegetable mixture into an ovenproof casserole (as level as possible), and top evenly with the breadcrumbs.
Bake for 20 minutes, until bubbling up around the edges and the crust is lightly golden, about 20 minutes.
For a little more color, slide the casserole under a preheated broiler for one minute. Garnish with fresh mint and large dollops of yogurt.