There is really no way to describe the energy packed into the SHN Cirque Dreams Holidaze performance. Dazzling costumes sparkled on stage as holiday costumed character ornaments came to life and performed astonishing feats that whimsically celebrated the holiday season. “Penguins” waddled across the stage as the head penguin balanced himself atop a myriad of balls and tubes. Others, dressed as reindeer, showed their agility and sure-footedness as they jumped rope in unison. Aerial performers showcased their gracefulness as they soared high above the stage wrapped in silk ribbons. The stage was a landscape of holiday wonderment as jugglers and thin wire walkers performed acrobatic displays that left my jaw on the floor.
When inspiration hits, the fun with food begins. These whimsical sweet potato stuffed oranges have magically enticed my son (who claims he hates sweet potatoes) to devour at least two of these adorable balls adorned with marshmallows. My mother was really the inspiration behind this recipe as she loves yams with marshmallows for the holidays. While I’ve never been a yam and marshmallow fan, sweet potatoes seem to be a good middle ground; not quite yam and not quite potato. While sweet potatoes can tend to be quite dry in consistency, when paired with fruit they take on an entirely new appeal to the palate. I am also a fan of marketing so packaging these up into individual portions for serving is ideal for a dinner party and no matter how one deeply feels about marshmallows they just make this dish look fun to eat. While I don’t recommend juggling these, I do recommend you try them out with kids of all ages and I think you will win over even the most selective eaters.
There is no smoke and mirror magic here, just simple ingredients paired together for a delicious and unique presentation.
Orange & Sweet Potato Marshmallow Balls
4 small to medium size oranges, similar in size
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
2 TBS brown sugar
Pinch of salt
Pinch of white pepper, ground
medium size marshmallows
In a large pot boil sweet potatoes until fork can easily be inserted and removed. Using a colander, drain the potatoes and set aside in a mixing bowl. Use a fork to mash potatoes until relatively smooth, then add brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Combine well.
Cut oranges in half, using a hand juicer remove the orange juice and some of the orange flesh. (If a juicer is not available this step can also be done with a spoon.) If an excess of the orange flesh remains use a spoon to scoop it out. The orange gives this such a nice favor that it is essential to keep some of the pulp in tact for baking. Remove any seeds in the juice and then pour all of the juice into the bowl of mashed sweet potatoes. Combine well and adjust seasoning according to taste.
Fill orange halves with sweet potato filling and place in an oven safe dish. Top with medium size marshmallows.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the marshmallows begin to brown and melt.
Note: If making the day before, it is best to bring this dish to room temperature before baking or the marshmallows will burn while the filling remains cool. Alternatively, this dish can be placed in the oven for 15 minutes without the marshmallows and then added to cook until slightly browned.