I'm going to go out on a limb here and say there are few side dishes more decadent and downright enjoyable than a gratin. It's the sort of side were the vegetable seems like an afterthought once baked with copious amounts of heavy cream and nutty cheese. Potatoes are the classic but the preparation works equally well with tomatoes, eggplant, carrots, beet greens, and of course, sweet potatoes.
This gratin from Lyniece North Talmadge's The Sweet Potato Lover's Cookbook takes chunks of sweet potatoes and bakes them with a mix of cream, thyme, parmesan, and gruyère until molten, bubbly, and brown. It's just as rich and creamy as you'd imagine with a list of ingredients like that, with the cream and cheese melding with the potatoes, creating a custard-like filling, and a top and bottom crust with plenty of browned, scrape-able bits—the tell-tale sign of a great gratin.
As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Sweet Potato Lover's Cookbook to give away this week.
Adapted from The Sweet Potato Lover's Cookbook by Lyniece North Talmadge. Copyright © 2010. Published by Cumberland House. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.
- Yield:6 to 8
- 7 medium sweet potatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Boil the sweet potatoes in a large pot in water to cover for 5 minutes. Drain, cool, peel, and dice into 1-inch pieces. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a baking dish with nonstick vegetable spray. Place the sweet potatoes in the dish and season with salt, pepper, and thyme. Mix the cream and cornstarch together and pour over the sweet potatoes. Bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cheeses. Bake for 15 minutes. Brown under the broiler for about 3 minutes.