Sweet but not overly so
6 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
1. Heat oven to 425° F. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice potatoes about 1/8- inch thick. Place in a very large bowl, and add butter, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well until all slices are well coated with butter and seasonings.
2. Reserve about a dozen of the best-looking slices for top layer. Arrange a layer of slightly overlapping slices in 10-inch round gratin dish, skillet or other shallow ovenproof pan. Layer potatoes until all are used, topping gratin with reserved slices.
3. Place a sheet of heavy-duty foil directly on top of potatoes. Place pan in oven, and place a heavy pan slightly smaller in diameter than first pan directly on foil. Bake for 30 minutes.
4. Remove top pan, and carefully peel away foil. (If necessary, use a spatula to help separate foil from potatoes.) Continue baking until potatoes are soft and top is almost caramelized, 20 to 30 minutes longer. Cut into wedges and serve hot.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
Estimated time to prepare and cook: 1 1/2 hours
Sweet Potato & Apple Gratin
3 cups thinly sliced peeled Granny Smith apples (about 1 ¼ pounds)1 teaspoon lemon juice 4 small sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 2 pounds) ¼ cup maple syrup 1 tablespoon butter, melted ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper Cooking spray 2 (1-oz.) slices white bread 2 teaspoons olive oil ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400° F. Combine apples and lemon juice in a large bowl.
Add the sweet potatoes, maple syrup, butter, salt and pepper.
Place the sweet potato mixture in a 9-by 13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Bake for 40 minutes, stirring after 25 minutes.
Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form to measure 1 cup. Combine breadcrumbs, oil and nutmeg; sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture. Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until golden.
Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving so the juices can thicken.
Serves 6 to 8.
Our first attempt at this second recipe was mixed. Apples were great but the potatoes were dried out; tasteless. Should be covered.
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