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Chef JP Knaggs of the Bijou Café shares his family-favorite holiday dishes including "Mom's nutty cranberry sweet potato casserole and quick-cook asparagus."
My Mom's Nutty Cranberry Sweet Potato Casserole
+ 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
+ 1 stick unsalted butter (soft but not melted)
+ 1 cup homemade cranberry sauce
+1 cup light brown sugar
+ 1 cup chopped pecans
+ 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
+ 1/2 cup water
+ 1 tbs cornstarch
+ Boil the sweet potatoes for about 1/2 hour or until fork pierces easily. DO NOT OVERCOOK! Drain and set aside.
+ Mix the butter, cranberry sauce, brown sugar and pecans together with a fork. Set aside
+ Pre-heat oven to 350-degrees.
+ Bring the orange juice and water to a boil and thicken with cornstarch slurry. Cook gently for about 3 or 4 minutes.
+ Place the sweet potatoes in an oven-proof casserole. Pour the thickened juice over all the sweet potates making sure they are covered. Top with the cranberry mixture.
+ Place the casserole on a foil covered cookie sheet and put in oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until mixture is bubbling and browned.
+ Remove from oven and let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving. It will be insanely hot!
+ 1 bunch asparagus
+ 2 average-size shallots
+ Olive oil to taste
+ Slice the shallots
+ Slice asparagus on a bias using top tender parts
+ Add olive oil to a pan
+ Saute shallots and asparagus
+ Season with fresh sea salt and black pepper
+ Give pan a shake or two to make sure it's cooking eavenly and voíla!
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