Thanksgiving is coming and ya know what that means, at least as far as dinner goes? Sweet potato casseroles; smothered in sweet marshmallows.
Yup you heard right, I said yuck!
I know that what I just said is almost a sacrilege to most Americans and that I’ve just made a whole bunch of sweet potato casserole lovin’ people mighty angry!
We each loooove and hate different things and different foods, that’s what makes the world go round…Okay that’s not what makes the world go round; it’s some kind of sciencey thing, but that’s a different blog, some really smart person’s blog!
I do suspect, however that this recipe for Sweet Potato Gratin will convince some of y’all to forgive me the sacrilege; maybe even to forget that marshmallowy mess…Sorry did I go too far?
The sweet potatoes are layered with fresh thyme and sage, totally evocative of Thanksgiving, as well as luscious cream and nutty parmesan cheese, giving the Gratin Italian flair.
Sweet Potato Gratin can be assembled, or even par bake the night before, and finished baking in time for dinner, just don’t forget to allow you’re glass or ceramic dish to come up to room temperature before putting it into the hot oven. Don’t ask how I know.
My entire Thanksgiving menu this year is inspired by the Italian kitchen, though not necessarily authentic Italian.
So, Ciao for now my sweet potato loving friends!
Here’s what you do.
Add to a medium sauce pan some heavy cream, half & half cream, a couple of smashed garlic cloves and a bit of salt.
Bring the cream to a boil over medium heat, once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for another 20 minutes.
While the cream is reducing and being infused with garlic flavor prepare the remaining ingredients.
Peel and slice a couple of large sweet potatoes about 1/8 of an inch thick.
A sharp knife works well, but a mandolin makes quick work of this step, just be sure and use the hand guard.
There are occasions to use dried herbs, and there are times to use fresh thyme and sage; this is when fresh herbs are best!
Chop the thyme leaves and sage very finely.
|Put some of the most attractive slices of sweet potato to the side, those will be used on the top layer.|
|Repeat the layering process; I put all the broken up slices of sweet potatoes in the center layers...waste not!|
|Keep layering until you run out of potatoes, I got four layers. For the top layer, pour all of the remaining cream over the top, but don't sprinkle any cheese on it yet.|
Place a the baking dish on a sheet pan, just in case the cream bubbles over the sides, and then place a loose cover of aluminum foil over the dish.
Bake in a pre-heat 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes.
|Now sprinkle the remaining cheese over the sweet potatoes and return to the oven for about 15 minutes, or until a pairing knife is easily inserted into the center.|
|Allow Sweet Potato Gratin to sit for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.|
SWEET POTATO GRATIN
Serves 4 to 6
1 Tbsp. Butter, softened
1 ¼ cups Heavy cream
¾ cup Half and half cream
2 cloves Garlic, peeled and smashed
2 lbs. Sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced, about 1/8 inch thick
1 tsp. Fresh sage, very finely chopped
1 tsp. Fresh thyme leaves, very finely chopped
½ cup Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and use the softened butter to generously grease a baking dish that measures 8 x 8 x 2 inches (or a baking dish that will hold the equivalent volume)
2. To a medium sized sauce pan add the heavy cream, half and half cream, garlic, and ¼ tsp. salt. Bring the liquid up to a boil over medium heat and then decrease the heat to medium-low and allow it to simmer for another 20 minutes. Remove from the pan from the heat, remove and discard the garlic cloves.
3. Remove the most attractive slices of sweet potatoes and keep those to the side, these will be used on the top layer. Use any broken or small slices of sweet potato in the middle layers.
4. Now to assemble the Gratin. Spoon about ¼ cup of the cream into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Place a layer of sweet potatoes, slightly over lapping in the bottom of the dish. Ladle about ¼ cup of the cream over the sweet potatoes, sprinkle about ¼ tsp. each of the sage and thyme, as well as a pinch of salt & pepper, and finally 1 Tbsp. of parmesan cheese. Continue the layers until you run out of potatoes. When you get to the last layer pour all of the remaining cream over the top, but don’t sprinkle any cheese that top layer yet. Reserve the remaining cheese.
5. Place the baking dish on a sheet pan, lay a sheet of aluminum foil loosely over the top, and bake covered for about 20 minutes, and then remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes, finally sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the potatoes and bake for 15 minutes longer. The gratin is done when a paring knife is easily inserted into the center. Remove from the oven and allow the Sweet Potato Gratin to sit for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Note: this recipe is easily doubled; in that case a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish should be fine, there will just be a couple of more layers, but it will easily fit. Increase the time that the gratin is baked covered to 35 minutes.
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This recipe was shared at:
The Weekend Potluck