Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sweet potato gratin with chipotle cream

This is the first in what I hope will be a long list of tried-and-true comfort food recipes. It's chilly out there and Spring still seems far away, so let's cozy up in the kitchen warm up the oven and why not while we're at it add a few new favorites to our ever-growing comfort food repertoire.

This recipe is adapted from Bobby Flay and is one which for once doesn't call for 25 different ingredients, and I means this literally. Fast and easy to whip up, not much shopping, hard to source ingredients or prepping time. Doesn't sound too much like Bobby right? Well wait until you taste it, the final dish screams Bobby and in a good way.

Sweet potatoes are peeled and finely sliced using a mandoline. I used chipotle chilies in adobo sauce that I minced and pureed down pressing with the blade of my knife then added them to heavy cream and added salt and pepper. I stirred the mixture being careful not to overwhip or even introduce too much air into it as the purpose is solely to get the ingredients combined, not to wind up with whipped cream. The sweet potatoes are then layered in a gratin dish and seasoned before adding some of the chipotle cream. After 4 layers, my gratin was ready to be baked in the oven for about an hour and fifteen minutes.

I know it does sound like a long time, but besides cooking the potatoes, you want them to absorb as much of the liquid as possible. I let the gratin rest in the dish for a good 1/2 hour. When ready to eat I added just a drizzle of maple syrup on top to bring out the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes. It was an amazing dish, sweet and creamy with just a hint of heat. The sweet potatoes had this wonderful melt-in your-mouth texture making this dish an instant success for a top-of-the-list comfort food favorite.

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