Wayne: Fried Turkey, Chocolate Pralines are Holiday Favorites

Chocolate pralines make a perfect holiday treat

Many of us have grown up with memories of favorite dishes that our mom or grandmother made.  I think it’s so important to make sure you never lose those recipes and the traditions of making them during the holidays.  It’s also great to start new traditions that will hopefully be passed on to future generations. 

My guest this week was Clinton Drummer, who has started his own tradition of deep-frying turkeys every holiday.  He also shared his grandmother’s chocolate praline recipe.  I also thought you might like to have my mom’s sweet potato recipe.  It’s my favorite dessert that she makes and I know it’ll always be on the table during the holidays.  I hope you enjoy both!

Chocolate Pralines
courtesy of Clinton Drummer

3 cu of Pure Cane Sugar
3/4 cu Unsweetened Hershey Chocolate Powder
1 can Evaporated Milk
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
8 oz Butter (1 stick), room temperature
2 cu Chopped Pecans

In a large saucepan, combine sugar and Hershey chocolate powder and mix well.
Add 1 can of evaporated milk on medium heat stir constantly.  Bring to full boil add 1 stick of butter, stirring constantly as mixture starts to thicken.  Add pure vanilla extract and continue to stir.  Add pecans. 

Mixture should continue to thicken.   To test if ready, drop a teaspoon of the mixture in a glass of cold water.   If it beads up, the mixture is ready. 

Remove saucepan from heat.  Drop by level measuring tablespoons onto wax paper.   Cool for about 10 minutes.   Peel candies off wax paper to serve.

Mom’s Sweet Potato Pie and Homemade Pie Crust

Pie Crust

1 cu Flour
1/2 cu Margarine
3 oz Cream Cheese

Cut margarine into small cubes. Combine all three ingredients. Using your fingers, mix ingredients to form a dough. Knead for about 30 seconds and roll out to form your crust.

Sweet Potato Pie

1 Pie Crust (recipe above)
3 med Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into one inch cubes
1 pinch Salt
4 tbl. Butter
1/2 cu Granulated sugar
1/2 cu Brown Sugar
2 lg Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Roll out crust and line a pie pan. Crimp edges of crust using your fingers. Set aside.
Place potatoes in a large saucepan.  Add enough water to cover potatoes by about one inch. Add salt and bring to boil. Continue to cook until tender (about 20 minutes).  Drain potatoes fully and mash with butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Pour mixture into crust. Use aluminum foil to cover the edges of the crust to prevent it from burning during baking.

Place pie into oven and bake for about 1 hour until filling is set. Remove the aluminum during the last 15 minutes of the baking process so crust can brown. Remove pie from oven and allow to cool.

For more information about Clinton Drummer, his deep fried turkeys and his company, Crazy Creole Cooking, check out his Web site.

Many thanks to Clinton for sharing his praline recipe with us.  If you have any comments or questions, please send me an email at wayne@waynesweekend.com.

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