I don’t buy into the whole superfood idea. There is no one magic food (or even a few) to eat for optimum health – it takes an army, as they say. However, I found this book at our campus library, and couldn’t resist because the title was in BIG, BOLD, LETTERS.
I also wanted a good excuse to share a new technique for sweet potato gratin (no recipe required, your welcome). To my relief, sweet potatoes are considered a superfood, at least by this author. So mission accomplished.
Eat the caramelized sweet potato gratin below, and give your body several times more the daily recommended dose of vitamin A, along with the metabolism star B6, the antioxidants C and E, potassium, iron and calcium (your welcome, again).
Baking up a potato gratin of any sort is actually pretty simple. Slice the potatoes 1/8 of an inch thick, and shingle them in a 2-inch deep pan, alternating with drizzles of seasoned heavy cream. Bake at 350° F until a knife inserts easily to the bottom. A nice starter ratio is 4 to 5 potatoes for an 8-inch square pan.
The true beauty of making this super gratin is the pan size and shape don’t matter – just that you fill it almost to the top with thin-sliced potatoes and a healthy dose of heavy cream. Go ahead and add pure maple syrup to the cream for this one, it’ll make your day. And that, unlike the fluffed up claims made of superfoods, is a promise.
- 5-8 sweet potatoes, depending on size of your pan
- Maple syrup, honey, brown sugar or agave syrup
- Heavy cream
- Salt and pepper
- Peel and slice necessary amount of sweet potatoes to 1/8-inch thick. A mandolin slicer works best.
- In a bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream and ¼ cup of sweetener syrup for every four potatoes. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper to cream mixture (taste for surety).
- Coat pan with non-stick baking spray and layer potato slices all the way up to the top, drizzling with a couple tablespoons of cream mixture every two layers. Bake at 350° F until a knife inserted reaches bottom of pan easily, between 30 and 45 minutes.
- If top turns overly brown before potatoes are fully tender, cover with foil to finish cooking. Cool for 15 minutes before serving. Dollop of créme frâiche on top, if desired.
To make fancy slices…
While cooked gratin is still hot, place a piece of parchment paper on top of potatoes, lay a plate or similar size pan on top of parchment, and weight down with canned goods. Once completely cool, loosen sides with a palate or butter knife and flip pan upside down onto a cutting board. Coax pressed gratin to release by heating the bottom of the pan with a stick lighter flame or kitchen torch. Cut into desired shape and reheat in 300° F oven.