When my kids were small, before we moved to the beach, we lived in two different homes in Los Angeles, and we had a milkman from Alta Dena® deliver to us once a week. So old school, I know! Keith was a lovely man who dropped off our order very early in the morning, so I only met him a few times (one of my kids as a baby was sometimes up before the sun!) In fact, in our second home, we had a metal milk box on the porch where Keith would deposit the milk and it would stay cold until I retrieved it.
For those of you who don’t live in Los Angeles, Alta Dena is a regional dairy brand which is owned by dairy farmers and sources its milk from family farms, many of whom are nearby and have been running their family business for generations. This holiday season, I am prioritizing supporting the community – from the gifts I give to the food I put on the table. I am excited to share this holiday recipe with you, which uses a seasonal favorite of my family, Alta Dena eggnog!
This recipe is an adaptation of Kim and Laura Bosch, farmers at Bosch Dairy, an Alta Dena supplier in Ontario, California. I had the privilege of learning the Bosch’s story and the history of their dairy farm which began in 1965 in Artesia, California. I am putting my own twist on their family’s favorite holiday recipe, “Holiday Yams.”
I adapted this recipe to be really simple by using Alta Dena eggnog in place of the milk and sugar since eggnog is lightly sweetened. It also has holiday spices like nutmeg, which I adore, combined with sweet potato, and eggnog also contains egg, so I lessened the amount in the original recipe. No good sweet potato casserole is without a delicious crunchy topping, so I created a new one with oats, pecans and a hint of salt (you know I love my sweet and salty!)
My kids go crazy for eggnog at holiday time, so after I take a little for this casserole, there will be plenty for them to enjoy as a treat. In fact, we recently ate leftover cold sweet potato casserole the next morning with a glass of eggnog on the side! This sweet potato casserole is wonderful with poultry or salmon, or as part of a vegetarian meal (something with lentils would be perfect.) Serve some non-starchy vegetables on the side such as roasted Brussels sprouts or a winter salad with some bitter lettuces.
I am planning on serving up some comfort and familiar classics this holiday season. I’d love to see what traditions you are keeping alive and your beautiful holiday creations. Please tag me @pamelasalzman #pamelasalzman!
- 2¾ pounds sweet potatoes, any variety, scrubbed clean
- unsalted butter or oil of choice for greasing the baking dish
- ⅔ cup Alta Dena eggnog
- 2 egg whites
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg (or ground cinnamon)
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats (do not use steel cut oats)
- ½ cup pecans (swap coconut flakes for a nut-free version)
- ¼ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 Tablespoons unrefined olive oil, avocado oil or coconut oil
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter or plant butter, cold
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the sweet potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast in the oven until very tender. The amount of time will depend on the size of your sweet potatoes. This could take 35 minutes or up to an hour. Remove them from the oven when you can squeeze them with your oven mitts.
- Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Grease an 8 x 8-inch or 9-inch round baking dish with butter or oil.
- When the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and discard the skin. Place the sweet potatoes in a food processor with the eggnog, egg whites, salt, nutmeg or cinnamon, and vanilla. Process until smooth. Transfer the mixture into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top with a spatula. At this point, the casserole can be made up to 2 days in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator.
- Place all the topping ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Topping may be made up to 3 days in advance and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Sprinkle the sweet potato mixture evenly with the topping. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until the top is golden and crispy and the casserole is hot. Leftovers are delicious for breakfast cold, too!