Thursday, November 23, 2006

My Thanksgiving Gift To You

The mandatory, must-have dish at the Graham Family Compound on Thanksgiving is Alex Patout's Sweet Potato Praline Casserole. It's one of those dishes that, once you bring it to a family meal, repeat performances are MANDATORY, not optional. It even gets the ultimate yam-based compliment: "I don't like sweet potatoes, but I love this!"

I discovered the recipe in Patout's cookbook, which gets a regular workout in my kitchen. I had the opportunity to cook with Alex a few years ago when he competed in the Cajun Culinary Classic in Lafayette, Louisiana. (He took four gold medals and "Best In Show." Wow.)

His approach is "keep it simple, keep it local [ingredients] and keep it delicious. His Sweet Potato Praline Casserole is a great example.
UPDATE: I've received several emails like this one from Jack in New Hampshire:

Just a note to thank you, thank you, thank you, for that mouth-watering Sweet Potato Praline recipe. I prepared it for our thanksgiving dinner with family and they loved it!! Some were actually trying to steal the leftovers to take home.
Seriously, it was a very big hit. I plan to make it again at every opportunity.
Thanks again.