Living abroad, I spend a lot of time apologizing for American food. British people watch Man vs. Food or see a Buzz Feed listicle of foods from the Iowa State Fair and think that this is what all Americans eat on a daily basis. I think that’s pretty rich for a country that’s famous for deep-fried pizza, but this is my life now.
Look, yes once a year people in rural communities feast on corn dogs and elephant ears. Yes some people drink gallons of soda every day, but other people drink home brew kombucha. It’s a diverse country. Restaurant portions are big, but it’s also common to pack up half of your restaurant dinner to take home for the next day.
And yes, yes we put marshmallow on top of sweet potatoes. What’s it to you? To be perfectly honest, this is not my favorite way to eat sweet potatoes, but I made this a couple of years ago upon request of my English in-laws and discovered that it actually really works. I invited them over for Thanksgiving, and they wanted to try a marshmallow topped sweet potato casserole. I like to give the people what they want.
I remember that my grandmother did made this by opening up a can of yams, dumping the sweet, syrupy mixture into a casserole dish, and topping it with mini-marshmallows and popping it in the oven. It was sweet as candy, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but this recipe goes in a different direction. It’s barely more complicated as all you have to do is roast sweet potatoes in the oven until soft, mash them together with a few flavor-enhancing ingredients, spreading it into a suitable baking dish, throwing some marshmallows on there, and heating until the marshmallows are browned on the top. The marshmallows go a little crunchy and actually compliment the sweet potatoes really well.
I think American food is great, and I’ll defend it until the day I die. In case you’re wondering, these are my favorite sweet potatoes, but this All-American Sweet Potato Casserole is an awesome option.
All-American Sweet Potato Casserole
1 hour 10 minutes
- 1 kilogram sweet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ounce butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 package mini-marshmallows (you may not need them all)
- Preheat your oven to 425F.
- Use a fork to poke a few holes in each sweet potato. Use your vegetable oil to lube up the outside of each sweet potato. I find this easiest with spray oil. Just rub the oil all over the skin. Then individually wrap each sweet potato in foil. Wrap it somewhat loosely, but make sure it’s completely sealed so that you trap any sweet juices.
- Roast your sweet potatoes in your hot oven for about an hour. A knife should slide into the flesh of the potato easily when they’re ready. It may take a bit more or less time depending on the size of your sweet potatoes.
- Allow your sweet potatoes to cool enough so that you can handle them without burning your hands off. The peel should come off easily. Just scoop the sweet orange flesh into a mixing bowl. Add the lime juice, cinnamon, butter, and salt, and mash and stir it all together until smooth.
- Transfer your sweet potato mash to a baking dish or casserole that will hold your mixture withut spreading it too thin. Cover this generously with your mini marshmallows.
- Pop your baking dish back in the oven for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it, and take it out when the marshmallows are puffed up and brown, but before they get charred.