As I mentioned, my CSA bin was exploding this past week with treats to help make any Thanksgiving feast complete. Honestly…everything in there would go in a Thanksgiving meal. And if I was making a Thanksgiving meal…that would be ideal. As it was, being the token vegetarian among my roommate’s family, I am always asked to supply a vegetable dish. And as I had green beans in my bin…I went with that. Although, I honestly could have provided a healthy and fresh side item (forget canned yams and cranberry sauce…I could have made it from scratch with fresh and local ingredients), I stuck with what I was told to bring and let them open up canned yams and cranberry sauce. That’s their tradition.
But I’m a firm believer in fresh is best and therefore now had a plethora of Thanksgiving fruits and vegetables to play around with. As a result…I found a recipe that utilized Yukon Gold potatoes and sweet potatoes, and decided that I could alter it to accommodate my ready supply of fresh Russet potatoes and fresh yams that came in my bin. It even used some of the fresh, local herbs that I received as well.
So, last night…I cooked up this amazing gratin…and it emerged smelling fantastic and bubbling with goodness. At first bite…I knew I made a good choice. The original recipe was printed in a 2008 edition of Bon Appétit magazine. I adapted it to fit my ingredients. All of which…I had on hand and begging to be used.
Break out that mandolin slicer and bake up potatoes in a fresh, tasty new way.
Recipe: Scalloped Russet Potato and Yam Gratin with Fresh Herbs
Time: Prep 20 minutes; Cook 55 minutes
- 1-1/2 pounds medium Russet potatoes
- 1-1/2 pounds medium red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams)
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream (I used 1 cup heavy whipping cream and 1 cup unsweetened almond milk)
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter (I used Smart Balance)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 1-1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (I used 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper)
- 1-1/4 cups (packed) coarsely grated Gruyére cheese (about 5 ounces) (I used Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese)
Fill large bowl with cold water.
Working with one Russet potato at a time, peel, then cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds and place in bowl with water. Repeat with sweet potatoes.
Combine cream, butter, and garlic in medium saucepan; bring to simmer. Remove from heat.
Mix all herbs in small bowl.
Mix sea salt and black pepper in another small bowl.
Butter a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish.
Drain potatoes, then pat dry with kitchen towels. Transfer half of potatoes to prepared baking dish. Use hands to distribute and spread evenly.
Sprinkle with half of salt-pepper mixture, then half of herb mixture. Sprinkle with half of cheese.
Repeat with remaining potatoes, salt-pepper mixture, herb mixture, and cheese.
Pour cream mixture over gratin, pressing lightly to submerge potato mixture as much as possible.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cover gratin tightly with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover; bake until top of gratin is golden and most of liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes.
Cheesy, potato goodness…that’s what this was. I mean…full of amazing flavor. The yams were the actual star, though. The flavor they brought to this gratin was out-of-this-world delicious. I loved the use of the fresh herbs as they complimented every ingredient that went into this dish. This would make a fantastic entree or even a delicious side dish at Thanksgiving (or just for a get-together of family dinner). The hardest part was getting that potato sliced on the mandolin. But, once that part was done, the rest was super-simple and easy.
Love potatoes and cheese? Trust me…you’ll love this!