Winter is the time of year when food is an even bigger part of our lives than usual.
People are planning special dishes for the holidays. Some will try new recipes; others will trust time-honored favorites. Regardless, the results are shared with the people we love.
This year we asked, what if some of the region’s best chefs brought a dish to your house for the holidays? What would cooks like Robert Terry at Saute on Sixth in Clarkston or Alex Barham at Moscow’s Lodgepole show up with?
In a two-part series starting this week, these chefs and others will share their favorite holiday recipes with Inland 360 readers.
Tina Poe, owner and chef at Seasons Bites and Burgers in Lewiston, kicks off the series this week with her recipe for Kentucky Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole.
Kentucky Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole
By Chef Tina Poe
This is an old favorite we used to serve at The Red Table Steakhouse.
The russet potatoes cut the richness of the sweet potatoes, which appeals to a larger crowd. Leave them out if you prefer and increase the number of sweet potatoes to eight. You can use any bourbon whiskey. We decided Jim Beam was the best in this dish.
Start to finish: About an hour
Serves: A crowd
6 sweet potatoes or yams
2 medium russet potatoes
1/3 cup brown sugar (more or less to taste)
½ cup butter softened
1 tablespoon pureed garlic cloves (or use a garlic press)
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Herb de Provence blend (or use Italian herbs)
¼ cup Jim Beam or other bourbon whiskey
1 cup pecans, chopped (reserve ½ cup for topping)
Salt and pepper to your taste
Heat oven to 375 F. Wash and cut potatoes in half. Boil in salted water for approximately 20 minutes or until a knife pierces easily.
While potatoes boil, in a mixing bowl add the remaining ingredients.
Drain potatoes and let cool to touch. Peel the skins or remove with a small knife. Add the potatoes to the mixing bowl and mash together with the other ingredients. Place the mixture in a baking dish of appropriate size, and top with remaining chopped pecans and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese (if you prefer a sweeter dish, sprinkle with more brown sugar). Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes, until golden brown on top.
This dish can be made ahead of time, refrigerated and baked when needed. Increase the baking time by 10 minutes.