I am so excited about the newest addition to my cookbook collection, “The Essential New York Times Cook Book”. The second recipe I adapted from this giant 933 page cookbook is due to the writer’s description of the dish. I knew from what she wrote that it was the perfect vehicle for a small pile of sweet potatoes I had received in my Bountiful Basket. These sweet potatoes had a sweet taste like honey and I knew that juxtaposed with the smoky heat of chipotle it would be smashing. The next time you are wondering what to do with some lovely sweet potatoes or yams, try this…..
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon ground chipotle
1 ½ pounds yams or sweet potatoes - peeled and cut into 1/16 inch thick slices.
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of minced parsley to garnish with
The trick to getting that "layer upon fine layer, like a piece of puff pastry" is to use a mandolin slicer. They are very affordable now, so if you do not already own one, it would really be worth the investment. If you do not own one, try to slice your potatoes as super thin and consistent as possible.
Now, heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Then, whisk together the cream and chipotle in a bowl until smooth.
Arrange a thin layer of the yams/sweet potatoes in a small baking dish (or loaf pan if you want a higher stack of layers). Then season with salt and pepper and spoon over a little of the cream mixture.
Repeat, layering the remaining potatoes and cream mixture, seasoning every other layer.
When you have finished layering the yams/sweet potatoes, press firmly on the gratin to compact the layers.
Cover the dish/pan with aluminum, foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for 35 to 40 minutes or until most of the cream has been absorbed and the yams/sweet potatoes are tender and browned. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Garnish each plating with a pinch of minced parsley.
The original publication of this recipe was in Jan/1999 by Amanda Hesser who adapted it from Bobby Flay, the chef at Mesa Grill in New York City.
This is a link for the cookbook: