For the crouton topping:
- 8 slices of Pullman bread, crust removed and cut into 1-inch cubes
- Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- Salt and pepper
For the casserole:
- 7-8 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
- A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 rounded tablespoon pureed chipotle in adobo sauce*
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 6 scallions, sliced on the bias
*Chipotle in adobo comes as whole peppers in a can. To puree, transfer to a food processor or blender and run until smooth. Leftovers can be frozen for future usage.
For the crouton topping: Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
Place the bread cubes on a baking sheet and season the bread with salt, pepper and EVOO. Toast in the oven until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Let the croutons cool and reserve them for when you need them. The crouton topping can be made up to one week ahead. Store in an air-tight container until ready to use.
For the casserole: Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
Place the sweet potato chunks on a large baking sheet and season them with salt, pepper and a drizzle of EVOO. Roast them for about 45 minutes, or until tender.
Butter a 9-inch x13-inch casserole dish and set aside.
While the potatoes are roasting, combined the heavy cream, chipotle and orange zest into a pot large enough to hold all the potatoes once they are finished roasting. Bring to a low simmer.
When the potatoes are done roasting, add them to the pot with the hot cream mixture. Using a potato masher, mash up the potatoes with the brown sugar, egg yolks and orange juice.
Pour the smashed sweet potato mixture into the prepared casserole and bake until brown and the filling is slightly puffy around the edges, 35-40 minutes.
Top with the reserved crouton topping and cheese. Pop the casserole back into the oven to melt the cheese, then garnish with scallions.