One of the things I miss most about California is the abundance of Mexican taquerias and street vendors selling Horchata, which is a refreshing Mexican drink made with rice, nuts, vanilla, water and cinnamon. Ideal when paired with spicy foods, it is best enjoyed over ice. While attending San Jose State University in the heart of downtown San Jose, I had a daily ritual in which I would head over to “La Vic’s” (La Victoria Taqueria) after class and enjoy tacos al pastor with hot sauce and a large agua horchata. Those were the days. While I can find horchata at select places in Tampa, it is not nearly as popular as it is in California. I enjoy making horchata at home and my kids love it.Source: Trip Advisor
As a bartender and cocktail connoisseur, you can imagine my delight when I discovered RumChata which is a cream liqueur that mirrors the taste of horchata. Made with premium Caribbean rum, the finest dairy cream from Wisconsin, cinnamon, vanilla, and other ‘secret flavors’ that are sourced from six different countries including Madagascar, every single batch is made from scratch. Smooth and versatile, RumChata can be enjoyed alone or in a variety of cocktails. Here in Tampa, the most popular variation is the Cinnamon Toast Crunch shot which combines RumChata and Fireball Whisky.
I always have a bottle on hand and have been experimenting in the kitchen with boozy recipes using RumChata. For Thanksgiving, I made a RumChata Sweet Potato Casserole and it was a hit. In fact, I won a trophy for best hot side dish at the Thanksgiving party I attended. This recipe is from the RumChata company web-site but I altered it a bit. Perfect for your holiday gatherings, your guests will love your
RumYumChata Sweet Potato Casserole. Easy and vegetarian friendly, this is a must have at your holiday dinner table.
To begin, select four large sweet potatoes from your local farmer’s market or produce stand. Buying local is more cost-effective and there is nothing better than supporting local farmers. Your wallet and taste buds will thank you for it. Once you have your four sweet potatoes, pre-heat your oven to 350 and then wash the potatoes and prepare for baking. Piece a few fork holes in each potato and place on a baking sheet. Bake for about 60 minutes in the oven.
Once your potatoes are done, let them cool a bit and then remove their skins.
Mash the potatoes in a large bowl until smooth. Add unsalted butter, brown sugar, RumChata, kosher salt, cinnamon and black pepper.
RumChata is the star of this dish and it really brings out the natural flavor of the sweet potatoes.
Whisk the ingredients until smooth.
Pour the sweet potato mixture into your favorite casserole dish (I adore my Le Creuset). Be sure the casserole dish is greased with butter before adding the mixture.
Top the mixture with Georgia pecans and brown sugar. Place in the oven for about 40 minutes.
Remove from the oven and brush the top with melted brown sugar and butter. Set the oven to broil and place casserole back in for 2 minutes. Remove and enjoy immediately.
Voila! You have just prepared an epic side dish that will leave your guests begging for more. Enjoy with turkey, rotisserie chicken and duck. Ideal for winter meals, this is sure to become a staple at your table. Cheers!
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