Even though I come from a Southern family, sweet potatoes were never part of our Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, potatoes in any form weren't - in the South, rice instead of mashed potatoes is traditional. But that's another story.
Instead of sweet potatoes, we had Carrot Souffle, a light, rich, faintly sweet baked carrot dish that was more reminiscent of a pudding than a souffle, but just as delicious. It can be made earlier in the day and put in the fridge until you're ready to bake it. I've even made it weeks in advance and frozen it, although in that case it's trickier to figure out how long it needs to bake.
The Carrot Souffle is best when you make it with whole milk and butter; but if calories are a concern, it's remarkably good even when you omit the butter and use 2 percent milk instead of whole.
I'm going to give you the recipe as it was printed in the community cookbook my mother edited that benefited her church.
The recipe is one of several of her own in the cookbook; but she had the reputation of being a fabulous cook, so no one minded.
At the time, few Americans had food processors. They make this dish a lot easier. (I sometimes just throw everything in together and whir.) But if you have the time, using a ricer or sieve does give the souffle a lovely texture.
Because I have only one oven, I usually take out the turkey, cover it with foil and then bake the side dishes: the scalloped oysters, the leftover stuffing and the Carrot Souffle. The turkey is still warm when the Carrot Souffle comes out, and carves even better because it sat.
(makes 4 to 6 servings)
2 cups cooked carrots
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey
3 extra-large eggs, beaten lightly
1/4 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter an oven-proof casserole or souffle dish. Put the carrots through a sieve or ricer. Dissolve the cornstarch in the milk, and stir into the carrots. Add salt and honey, then the eggs and butter.
Pour into the buttered dish and bake for 45 minutes. Check after about 35 minutes to make sure the top isn't getting too brown. Serve immediately.
Courtesy of Elizabeth Large
Per serving (based on 6 servings): : 189 calories, 6 grams protein, 12 grams fat, 7 grams saturated fat, 15 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 148 milligrams cholesterol, 473 milligrams sodium