At first I called this “secret ingredient sweet potatoes” because I didn’t want to scare you off. There was a time I was scared off by anything that sounded unfamiliar in the food world, but now I’m intrigued by new combinations. Turns out bananas and sweet potatoes aren’t such a novel combo – just ask the internet. They’re old friends!
I first read about this recipe in a Food Network Magazine. Tyler Florence explained that he has made this dish at Thanksgiving for the past 15 years and it’s a favorite with his family and friends. I’m in charge of sweet potatoes this year so I thought I should try it before springing it on the fam – I figured if it was good I could let you in on the fun.
I prepared it with a fish dinner (heads up working parents – this is a weekend or holiday dish for you as it takes 1 1/2 hours, though almost all of it’s “hands-off”), and I’m a little embarrassed to tell you he asked, “did you make this”? I guess I’ve been slacking on dinners lately. After digging into his first bite he actually cursed. He said the “D” word, as if the potatoes were actually a sexy girl instead of mashed tuber.
I then asked him if he could guess the secret ingredient. He says… “cinnamon?” Turns out it tastes complex, sweet, but not a lot like banana.Bananas are full of sugar, however, so I found I didn’t need any additional sweetener. Taste the filling before you bake it and if you think it needs some sweetening, add honey or maple syrup to taste.
Lastly – the streusel is mind-blowing and if you’re a scaredy cat about the ‘naners at least top your traditional mashed sweet potatoes with this instead of marshmallows – healthier by heaps but just as decadent.
Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Bananas with Pecan Streusel
6 medium sweet potatoes
3 medium, ripe bananas (not overly spotted)
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, diced
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 c. pecans, roughly chopped
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, diced
1. Preheat oven to 425. Poke holes in sweet potatoes and place in rimmed roasted pan (lined with foil for easy clean up). Bake for about 40 minutes or until tender.
2. Maintaining oven temperature, add bananas (in peels) to potatoes and roast another 10 minutes (peels will blacken). Remove potatoes/bananas from oven and reduce oven temperature to 375.
3. While potatoes cool, make topping. Place pecans, flour, sugar and salt into bowl and mix to combine. Add butter and mix with hands, mashing butter into mixture until uniform. Set aside.
4. Remove skin and peels and place sweet potatoes and bananas into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter, salt and cinnamon and, using electric mixer, beat until fluffy.
5. Transfer mixture to 8×8 (or 2 quart) baking dish and smooth to level. Sprinkle topping over mixture and bake for 20 minutes.