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Christmas Sweet Potato Gratin

A last minute addition for your holiday table.

Merry Christmas! I’ve been a bit lacking in my blog posts these past few months, but it isn’t for good reason. My new job in New York has kept me quite busy, from covering 2nd Annual International Pastry Competition, to traveling to Atlanta and Boston on culinary escapades. But if there’s any time to think about food, it’s the busy holiday season, when the day’s hours get taken over with holiday parties, family meals, and celebrations galore. And while I may not have had the time to capture my food musing on the Internet, I’ve certainly been eating my way through the holidays. This beautiful sweet potato gratin (a dish I brought along to a recent holiday party) is a wonderful side to add to your dinner table. The herb-packed cream sauce holds layers together, melted Pecorino adds a crispy crust, and baking the dish in a pie pan makes for easy serving. Whether you add it to your Christmas menu, or save it for a dinner in 2012, I hope you enjoy!

This Christmas greeting comes to you all the way from Lisbon, Portugal, where I’m spending the day in route to Morocco. Over the next week, TH and I will explore the medinas and haute cuisine of Marrakech, Tangier and Casablanca. Look for our African update soon!

Sweet Potato Gratin
4 to 6 servings

2 to 3 medium sized yams, washed
1 cup heavy cream
1 handful thyme, rosemary, and sage
½ cup grated Pecorino Romano
½ cup grated Parmigianino Reggiano

1. In a medium-sized pot, bring salted water to a boil. Place the sweet potatoes in the water and cook for 15-20 minutes, until fork tender. Remove from the water and cool completely.

2. Bring the heavy cream to a simmer, and place the herbs in the cream. Take off the heat and reserve. Peel the skins off the potatoes and slice vertically into ¼-inch pieces.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch baking tin or spring form pan with parchment paper. Lay the sliced potatoes onto the bottom of the pan in one even layer. Spoon the infused heavy cream on top, then sprinkle with the Pecorino and Parmigianino. Repeat 2 to 3 times, until all the slices are used. Top with the remaining cream and cheese.

4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Cool, top with fresh herbs and serve.


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