Every other sweet potato casserole I’ve eaten or heard of before has been all about brown sugar, maple syrup, marshmallows and that kind of stuff.
Sweet sweet potatoes are great, but these versatile veggies are too often overlooked as the foundational ingredient for savory side dishes. I enjoy them with a little zing now and then.
So when I was watching a television cooking show awhile back and heard about a savory sweet potato dish, I got out one of my 10-inch Camp Chef Dutch Ovens and started experimenting. It didn’t take long to adapt the recipe for cast iron campfire cooking. The resulting outdoor cooked dish has received high praise from those who have tried it with an open mind to “something different” for sweet taters!
3-5 good sized sweet potatoes (cleaned, blemishes removed, but peels on)
6 Fresno or Anaheim chiles (seeded, veins removed, sliced into long strips about ¾-inch wide. Fresno peppers are a bit milder, Anaheims are just a touch hotter; either works well.)
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
6 scallions or green onions (chopped, including leaves)
1. Bake or microwave sweet potatoes until about 75-80% done, slightly soft to the touch, but not to where you could mash them. (One of my favorite ways to do this is use a plate and a few small stones to raise the potatoes off the bottom of Dutch Oven, put about ¾-inch of water in bottom of oven, but not enough to touch potatoes. Then cover and bake with coals top and bottom for about 15-20 minutes until potatoes are just right.
2. Slice sweet potatoes into discs about 1/8-inch thick; peels stay on.
3. Grease the Dutch Oven well with butter, then cover bottom with a layer of sweet potato discs.
4. Next at a layer of pepper strips in a star pattern from the center.
5. Sprinkle generously with grated parmesan cheese.
6. Put down another layer of sweet potato discs.
7. Another layer of peppers.
8. More cheese.
9. Repeat layering until sweet potatoes and peppers are used up.
10. Put an especially generous layer of cheese on top, then sprinkle generously with chopped scallions.
11. Cover Dutch Oven and bake at about 300-350 for at least 40 minutes. Beauty of this recipe is that it’s pretty forgiving. You want both the sweet potatoes and peppers to get nice and soft, and the cheese to be all melted, but allowing it to go for awhile at low to medium heat is not going to hurt it at all.
Savory and delicious!!