In the Pantry Challenge video series, Lauren Braun Costello -- chef, author and food stylist -- shows busy moms how to make meals using ingredients they already have in their pantries, solving their unique cooking challenges. In this episode, Lauren shows Peggy S., a mother of four and a registered nurse, how to make a new Thanksgiving dish: twice baked sweet potatoes made even more delicious with a topping of bacon and Parmesan cheese.
To start the dish, Lauren bakes the sweet potatoes on a baking tray until they are tender. While they bake, she fries up some bacon until it's crisp, then, once it has cooled, she adds it to a food processor. She processes the bacon until it resembles fine crumbs -- the goal is to make it a similar consistency to the grated Parmesan cheese. She pours the bacon into a bowl (the bacon will be quite moist from its fat) and adds the Parmesan cheese, then stirs to combine and sets the mixture aside.
When the potatoes are cooked, she lets them cool, then slices them in half lengthwise and scoops out the flesh. (Leave a little border of potato to protect the skin, as it's very fragile and will peel off easily.) To the potato flesh, she adds heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, some reserved bacon fat, butter, dried sage, black pepper, and salt. She combines the mixture with a whisk to help incorporate air and achieve a fluffy texture.
Next, it's time to fill the sweet potato skins. When the filling is evenly divided between the potato boats, she spoons the bacon-Parmesan crumb topping over the top. Once they're baked, the topping gets crunchy -- a perfect combination of salty, rich cheese and smoky bacon.
Get the Recipe for Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with a Bacon-Parmesan Crust.