Chef Matt Turns Sweet Potato Casserole Upside Down With Brown Butter and Bourbon Candied Pecans | CHEF ED (S1E2)

Class is in session for Episode 2 of Chef Ed!  Today, Coach Matt Griseta (Executive Chef of Square Roots) puts his own twist on a holiday classic - Sweet Potato Casserole.

Sweet potato casserole is one of those dishes that always seems to find its way onto our tables during the holiday season.  But at Chef Ed, we like to think outside the recipe card box, and Chef Matt has a couple of secret weapons up his sleeve to make it happen - Bourbon, Brown Butter, and sweet Candied Pecans.

Griseta turns this dish upside down with Brown Butter and homemade bourbon candied pecans

BOURBON CANDIED PECANS

We'll start with Chef Matt's own recipe, for homemade, oven-roasted, bourbon candied pecans.  Below is a list of ingredients you'll need to make these sweet/salty little treats for yourself.  It's so easy, you might want to make an extra batch just to snack on around the house this holiday season (pro tip: they also make a great gift bag)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pecans
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 oz. Buffalo Trace bourbon
  • 1 egg white

Whisk the egg white and bourbon together until the mixture begins to foam. Combine your dry ingredients with your Pecans, then empty into the mixing bowl containing the egg white/bourbon mixture.  Toss the pecans in this mixture and massage it into the cracks until they're thoroughly coated - more is better!

Once the pecans are fully covered in the sugar/bourbon mixture, empty the contents of the mixing bowl onto a wax paper-covered baking sheet and spread evenly.  Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, shaking the pan every 15 minutes until they're golden brown.

BROWN BUTTER

Brown butter is one of those simple kitchen hacks that can make just about everything you put it in taste better - after all, we're always trying to extract more flavor from a dish when and wherever we can.  This one's super simple, but make sure to cook over VERY LOW heat and watch that it doesn't start to burn!  Constantly stirring is a must to make sure it doesn't start to stick to the bottom/sides of the pan.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks of butter (more/less as desired)

Place butter in a small to medium-sized saucepan, over medium-low heat.  Stir frequently to make sure butter doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.  As the mixture heats, the fatty milk solids in the butter will carmelize, leaving you with a thick mixture that smells exactly like (and somewhat resembles) caramel.  If you see any black marks/specks, or you smell burning, your heat is TOO HOT.

SWEET POTATO MASH

Ingredients:

  • 3.5 lbs peeled sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp salt (more if desired)

Boil sweet potatoes until soft, then drain.  Return potatoes to pot and add brown butter and salt.  Now's the fun part - taking these yams to pound town with the most heavy-duty potato masher you can find.

Transfer the mash to a serving dish and garnish with your bourbon-candied pecans.  Serve to your eagerly-awaiting guests!

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