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What Washingtonians Cook Up on Turkey Day
Comments () | Published November 18, 2009
Bryan Moscatello, executive chef at Zola, Zola Wine + Kitchen, and Potenza:
“At our Thanksgiving cooking classes [recently], we made a smoky sweet-potato casserole.  As opposed to the traditional Thanksgiving casserole with marshmallows on top, we did a combination of crispy applewood bacon and some diced brioche croutons—it was delicious. We baked it so it got really nice and crisp and added a chipotle-adobo sauce.”

Here’s Bryan’s recipe:

Smoky Sweet-Potato Casserole

Serves 4 to 6

3 large sweet potatoes
2 cups raw bacon, diced
4 cups brioche croutons (using either stale or fresh bread), diced into ¼-inch cubes
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
2 tablespoons chipotles-in-adobo sauce (you can find cans of this at most supermarkets)
1 teaspoon roast-garlic paste (Take a full head of garlic, cut a thin layer off the top so that you can just see the exposed heads. Drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil, and roast in a 400-degree oven for about 30 to 35 minutes or until tender. Let cool and mash the cloves with a knife or blender.)
 ¼ cup honey
½ cup butter
2 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Bake the sweet potatoes, wrapped individually in foil, for 45 minutes or until soft. Allow to cool, then peel. Mash the potatoes until you have a smooth purée, and season with salt and pepper to taste. For the casserole, measure out 3 cups of purée.

Lower the oven to 350 degrees. Sauté the bacon in a cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat until it is cooked, then remove it from the pan, reserving the fat. Toss the brioche croutons with a few tablespoons of the rendered fat,then combine with the bacon and the thyme.

Combine the sweet-potato purée, chipotle-adobo sauce, garlic paste, honey, butter, and eggs. Season with salt and pepper and pour into a prepared 9-inch square buttered baking dish. Pour the bacon-and-brioche mixture over the top, and bake for about 30 minutes or until set.Ben Olsen, DC United midfielder:
“Though Thanksgiving certainly is about quantity, for me it’s all about quality. One of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes is cheesy mashed potatoes.”

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

Serves 8 to 10

9 large baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
6 ounces cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons butter

Place the potatoes in boiling water and cook until soft, then remove them from the pot and mash until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients, and beat until combined.

Susan Norton, National Geographic Museum director:
“I’m from south of Lynchburg, so my dish is Southern. It’s sweet potatoes with miniature marshmallows on top. I use brown sugar and coconut to give it a sweet, crisp taste.”


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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 11/18/2009 RSS | Print | Permalink | Articles