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 a village, as they say. However, I found this book while studying at the CIA (chefs, not spies). And couldn't resist because the title was yelling at me in BIG, BOLD, LETTERS.
Sweet potatoes are considered a superfood, if I'm giving in, at least by this author. They serve up several times more the daily recommended dose of the precursor to vitamin A (beta-carotene), along with the metabolic star B6, antioxidants C and E, potassium, iron and calcium.
So now I have a really good excuse to share a new technique for sweet potato gratin. And no recipe required!
No recipe required sweet potato gratin
Baking up a potato gratin of any sort is actually pretty simple. Slice the potatoes ⅛ of an inch thick with a sharp knife or mandolin. Then shingle them in a 2-inch deep pan, alternating with drizzles of seasoned (salted) 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. What does matter is that you fill it to the brim with thin-sliced potatoes (there will be shrinkage).
Go ahead and add a little raw honey or pure maple syrup to the cream for this one, it'll make your day. Or serve it with cast iron roast beef for a special occasion. And that, unlike the fluffed up claims of superfoods, is a promise.
If you're feeling fancy...
While the 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 the parchment, and weigh it down with canned goods or something a bit heavy.
Once completely cool, loosen sides with a palate or butter knife and flip pan upside down onto a cutting board. Coax the 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 at 300° F in the oven until warm.
Yours in simple + delicious,Print
Feel free to vary the amounts and types of ingredients for this one. The technique is what's important! Just go easy on any liquid (cream or milk), too much and you'll end up with soggy bottoms. And we don't ever want to let Mary Berry down!
- 5-8 sweet potatoes, depending on size of your pan
- Maple syrup, honey, or brown sugar
- Heavy cream
- Salt and pepper
- Peel and slice necessary amount of sweet potatoes to ⅛-inch thick. A mandolin slicer works best.
- In a bowl, whisk together 1 ½ 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.
Keywords: sweet potatoes, gratin, sweet potato gratin recipe