1st Runner Up - California Sweetpotatoes: One Word, Endless Possibilities recipe contest

1 large California Sweetpotato (Covington variety)

1/2 small white onion, sliced thin

2 cloves garlic, sliced thin

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Salt & pepper

1 ounce Neufchatel cheese

3 tablespoons light cream

2 eggs

2 ounces both fresh mozzarella and smoked mozzarella, grated

3 (1/2-inch) slices both sopressata and salami, minced

1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Serves: 4-6

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Place one large or two medium sweetpotato on a rack inside a sheet pan. Poke a few holes in the skin.

  • Roast for 45 minutes or until a skewer easily slides into and out of the flesh.

  • Remove, cut open and cool to the touch.

  • While the sweetpotatos are roasting, melt a tablespoon of unsalted butter in a heavy bottomed skillet and saute the onions and garlic until they are soft and browned (caramelized). Add the thyme and salt & pepper. Cool to room temperature.

  • Peel the sweetpotatoes and mash in a large bowl. Add the cheese, cream and eggs and the onion mixture that is now at room temperature. Mix to a smooth consistency.

  • Butter the baking pan and coat the inside with the breadcrumbs. Tap out the excess and reserve for the topping.

  • Spoon half of the sweetpotato mixture into the bottom of your baking pan, and using your fingers, gently press to the edges and make the top even.

  • Add both the mozzarella cheeses, the Parmesan and the meat to the top of the sweetpotato mixture.

  • Carefully cover the cheeses with the remaining sweetpotato mixture and use a spatula to smooth.

  • Cover the top with the remaining breadcrumbs and dot with the last of the butter.

  • Bake for 25-30 minutes. Turn on the broiler for 5 minutes until the top is browned. Remove and cool.

  •  If using a spring form pan, release the spring and remove the side. If using a casserole pan, bring to the table and scoop out servings.

Recipe courtesy of Wish Upon a Dish

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