This is probably one of my favorite sides to make because it combines some of my favorite vegetables. About two years ago, I found this great recipe for a potato and sweet potato gratin and thought it would be perfect for a potluck I was invited to. Logistically, it turned out to be a nightmare. First, potatoes turn a grayish-brown color (become oxidized) if they are not cooked right away (within 15-30 minutes) after being peeled. Also, if you don’t cut the potatoes thinly then they will take forever to cook. The gratin came out okay, but I’m a bit impatient and I knew I had to do something to cut down on the cooking time. I came up with this recipe by accident because I ran out of potatoes, and just used what I had stocked in the fridge. Did I mention it cooks in about 30-45 minutes? That’s right, this dish is table ready in less than an hour. Not too bad when you’re talking about a potato gratin.
30 Minute Sweet Potato Gratin
Cook Time: 30-45 Minutes – Including prepping and chopping, etc.
Ingredients (Why yes, there will be commentary)
2 Medium to Large Sweet Potatoes – I like Garnet Yams as they are sweet. P.S. Yams are Sweet Potatoes, it’s an American term, but to the rest of the world a “yam” is a sweet potato, and a sweet potato is a sweet potato.
2 Medium Zucchini
2 Medium Yellow Squash
1/2 of a Large Red Onion
2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper – to taste
1 Cup Whipping Cream
2 Cups of Shredded Cheese – I used an artisan mix (found at Wholefoods) that combines fontina, asiago, and parmesan cheese. Highly recommend, but I’ve used sharp and mild cheddar before.
1/2 Packet Poultry Herb Mix – You can find this in the produce section of the grocery store. The Poultry Mix is a blend of fresh rosemary, thyme and sage.
2 Tablespoons Butter
Preheat the oven to 400°F
Peel the sweet potatoes, dice and chop the zucchini and squash (as pictured above). You want to make sure you’re not cutting the vegetable too thick because it will take longer for them to cook. Thinly slice half of the red onion, and place vegetables in a medium bowl. Toss with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Then take half of the poultry herb mixture and mince, place in a small container and set aside. Add two tablespoons of butter to a large saute pan and heat on medium high until butter is melted. Lay the vegetables flat in the saute pan layering them until they are all in the pan. I start out with the sweet potatoes because they take the longest to cook. Add the onions, cover and let cook untouched for about 5 minutes. Stir, try not to let the vegetable break apart, you want to keep them in their original circular shape. At least to the best of your ability. Let cook for an additional 5 minutes, then add the whipping cream. Let cream come to a boil, and the vegetables should be tender and cooked through after another 5-10 minutes. In a 9×13 glass baking dish, layer the cooked vegetables. Using a spatula, transfer 1/3 of the vegetables to the baking dish, then add 1/3 of the mixed herbs, and 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat until all vegetables have been transferred (should make 3 layers). The last (third) layer should be topped with the remaining herbs and cheese. Pour half of the remaining whipping cream over the vegetable mixture and bake for about 10 minutes until the cheese becomes golden brown.
Potato Gratin done in 30 minutes, but no one else has to know. I always make it seem like I slaved in the kitchen with this dish, makes ‘em appreciate it more. Enjoy!