When it comes to Thanksgiving of any kind the Turkey is key. But the sides are also an important part of the gathering and if you can make them ahead of time then that’s even better.
Erica Barnes Thomas is serving up a savory and spicy way to make your sweet potatoes this holiday and you can even do them a few days before.
Savory & Spicy Sweet Potato Gratin
- 1 tablespoon salted butter· Fat from one slice of bacon rendered
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1-2 tablespoons adobo paste (chipotle or other) -can omit altogether or increase, depending on how spicy you would like dish to be
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
- 7-8 medium sweet potatoes (or yams), peeled and cut into ¼” disks
- 8 oz grated cheese (I like smoked Gouda or a mix of sharp cheddar & Parmesan)
- ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs (unseasoned)
- ¼ cup freshly chopped Italian parsley (for color)
Pre-Cooking Sweet Potato Instructions:
- I like to pre-cook my sweet potato disks to cut down on in-oven baking time. This is not necessary, but using raw sweet potatoes in this dish will increase cooking time to between 1-2 hours.
- · Sweet potato disks can be pre-cooked in an Instant Pot by adding 2 cups of liquid (water or chicken broth) to pot, then adding sliced sweet potato disks. Lock lid and set to manual (pressure cook) for 0 minutes (yes, zero minutes). Pot will come to pressure and then beep to let you know cooking is done. Use quick release, drain liquid from pot and set potatoes aside.
- · Alternatively, you can par-boil your sweet potato disks on the stove top until they are tender-crisp – do NOT overcook.
Gratin Cooking Instructions:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Dice (or cut into small pieces with scissors) one slice of raw bacon. Cook bacon over medium high heat until brown and fat rendered. Remove bacon from pan and set aside on a paper towel to cool.
- In the same pan with the bacon fat, add butter, and garlic. Cook over medium-low heat for 30 seconds and add onion. Allow onion to cook through until translucent (4-5 minutes).
- Raise heat to medium-high and add flour and adobo paste and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Slowly whisk in chicken stock, followed by heavy cream. Allow mixture to simmer (not quite boil) for several minutes until slightly thickened.
- Add kosher salt & black pepper to taste.
- Reserve ¼ cup cheese to finish off recipe.
- Coat the bottom of an 11″ baking dish with a dollop of the sauce. Add a layer of the yam slices to cover the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle a layer of cheese on top. Drizzle a layer of sauce over top and repeat layering of yams, cheese, and sauce until you run out.
- Mix together bread crumbs and reserved ¼ cup of grated cheese. Set aside.
- Cover sweet potato gratin tightly with foil.
- If your sweet potatoes were pre-cooked, bake for 30-45 min.
- If your sweet potatoes were raw, bake until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork (1-2 hours).
- Remove gratin from oven at the end of allotted time. Top with bread crumb mixture and bake, uncovered for 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.
- Can be assembled (without bread crumb topping) and stored in the refrigerator (tightly covered with plastic wrap) up to 2 days in advance of cooking. Bring to room temperature for an hour before baking.