Cheesey potatoes, revisited

Introspection may be hard to come by these days, when free time seems like a mirage on the horizon. But heavy cream – I always find time for heavy cream. And Thin Mints.

This was delicious, but I ended up with a thin layer of liquid (water from the potatoes?) at the bottom of the dish. It didn’t seem to affect the overall flavor, though. Not sure if it was a fluke or if the sweet potatoes gave off more liquid than regular russets would have . . .

Sweet Potato and Sage Gratin

Recipe for Sweet Potato-Sage Gratin Dauphinois
Recipe 77 of 365

This dauphinois technique is based on a recipe for gratin Dauphinois in The Gourmet Cookbook, which is itself based on a Jacques Pepin recipe. If you have one, use a mandolin to slice the potatoes to about 1/16” thick, or as thin as you can get them with a knife.

This dish holds its heat well, so you can plan to take it out of the oven a full hour before serving it, if you want. It can also be made up to 24 hours in advance and reheated, covered with foil, for about 15 minutes in a 350-degree oven.

TIME: 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes baking
MAKES: 4 to 6 servings

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for the pan
1 3/4 pounds sweet potatoes (4 small), peeled and sliced to 1/16” thick
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black or white pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
1/4 pound Parmesan cheese, shaved into very thin slices with a vegetable peeler

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9”x7”x2” baking dish with the butter, and set aside.

Place the sweet potatoes, cream, milk, salt, pepper, sage, and syrup in a large saucepan over high heat. When the mixture begins to simmer, remove it from the heat. Spread half of the potatoes in the bottom of the buttered baking dish, and top with half the Parmesan cheese in an even layer. Add the remaining potatoes and all the cream, and top with the remaining Parmesan cheese.

Bake the gratin for 30 minutes on the middle rack, or until a skewer inserted into the potatoes in the middle of the dish comes out with little or no resistance. The cheese should be browned and bubbly. (Note: You may want to put a baking sheet under the baking dish to prevent any drips from burning on the bottom of the oven.) Let the gratin rest at least 20 minutes, and up to one hour, before serving.

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Filed under recipe, side dish, vegetables

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