November is upon us and with it comes my favorite American holiday. Although this will be my sixth Thanksgiving as an expat, I have always made it a priority to celebrate this refreshingly simple holiday wherever I am, and my Danish husband has jumped on board with the tradition as if it were his own.
What proper Dane wouldn’t appreciate a holiday that requires stocking at least three packets of Lurpak in your fridge as preparation?
Now, even though I am from the South, one popular dish on the Southern thanksgiving plate has always eluded me: sweet potato casserole. Where I come from, this naturally super sweet tuber is unnecessarily sweetened even more before finally being topped by marshmallows and baked into a cavity-causing farce that, at best, deserves to be on the dessert buffet.
As I found myself negatively describing it to my husband and explaining that we should make something more civilised like butternut squash, he politely requested that he be in charge of making a sweet potato casserole instead.
Even though he is a great cook, I was still sceptical and thought there was no way he would know how to make what I considered to be a very traditional American dish, but much less, improve it enough to make it edible. I was wrong (and now he has my admission in print).
Sweet potato and Jerusalem artichoke casserole with pecan crunch (serves four)
3 large sweet potatoes
4 Jerusalem artichokes
75 grams pecans, crushed
7 tbsp butter
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cream
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Peel and boil the sweet potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes until you can pierce them with a pick.
Mash together with four tablespoons butter, cream, beaten egg, and nutmeg.
You can add a bit of sugar here if you want them to be sweeter, but we prefer not to (although millions of American households, with their fondness for consuming marshmallows with the rest of their savoury favourites, obviously do).
Spread into a baking dish. Melt the remaining three tablespoons butter with the brown sugar and chopped pecans and spread over the mash.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes.
Take out and let rest a few minutes before serving or cover until the rest of the food is ready. It doesn’t need to be eaten piping hot.
We hope you will agree that the Jerusalem artichoke cuts the sweetness with a rich nutty flavour, satisfying the Thanksgiving comfort food craving without overpowering the rest of the food on your over-filled plate.
Find more of Sarah's recipes at www.soulmad.wordpress.com.