Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sweet Potato and Swiss Chard Gratin

I am not at all opposed to slathering butter and sugar on something healthy and turning it into something delicious that doesn't resemble health food in the least. In fact, it looks more like candy than anything else. This year though I wanted to take my sweet potatoes in more of a savory route away from the pecan crusted sweet potatoes I've had for years. So, I'm slathering them with butter, cream and cheese. Ohhh yes.

Seriously, sweet potatoes and swiss chard ("healthy") + butter, cream, cheese ("unhealthy", yet delicious) = perfection. I'm just going to tell myself that eating all that healthy stuff on the far left of this equation negates all of the fat and excess calories consumed by the addition of the "unhealthy" portion. Win win!

This is my last post in the pre-Thanksgiving posting spree, since tomorrow is Thanksgiving and it might be slightly counter-productive to post Thanksgiving recipes after the fact. So happy eating to all tomorrow!

Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin
Source: Smitten Kitchen

I also cut this recipe in half since I don't want to end up with mountains and mountains of leftovers for Thanksgiving. The original recipe should feed 12, so mine should feed 6. (Great job on the math there, Val. That took some real hard brain-thinkin'.) Scale this one up to feed more if you need!

I did learn that cutting the ingredients for the sauce in half means you should cut the cooking time in half as well. My sauce was super thick and as a result my gratin was a little dry. I adapted that in the recipe, so you should be good to go!

2 tbsp butter
1 small onion, diced
1.5 lbs swiss chard (2 bunches), cleaned and leaves and stems separated and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup whole milk
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp flour
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/8 in thick rounds
1/2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
1/2 tbsp fresh thyme
3/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook onions in 1 tbsp butter until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add swiss chard stems and cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add the chard leaves. Cook, stirring, until wilted. Transfer the greens to a colander and press the excess liquid out with the back of a spoon. Set aside.

To make the sauce, add the milk and the minced garlic to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a medium saucepan and aff the 1 tbsp flour. Cook the roux, whisking constantly for about 30 seconds. Slowly pour in the warm milk, whisking constantly. Keep whisking for another 30 seconds, then remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Now we assemble the gratin! We're going to make two layers of sweet potatoes/salt/pepper/herbs/cheese/swiss chard/sauce. So, first butter an 8x8 baking dish. Layer half of the sweet potatoes evenly on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, 1/4 of the herbs and 1/4 cup of cheese. Spread half of the greens on top of the cheese, then pour half of the sauce on top. Repeat this once more. Then sprinkle with more salt and pepper, the remaining herbs and the remaining cheese. Press the vegetables down into the sauce as much as you can.

Bake in a 400 degree oven (preheated) for about 30-40 minutes, until bubbly and slightly brown on top. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.


1 comment:

  1. It's even better than it looks too!