Spiced Sweet Potato Gratin

OK, so we needed a little break from Thanksgiving fare...from squash, pumpkin, turkey leftovers, and the like. So we went on to cheeseburgers and tamales. But there are still some wonderful, easy to prepare holiday dishes to be shared. Like this one...

Sweet potatoes (not yams) about 5 large, peeled and sliced thin. If you have a mandoline, that is the perfect tool. If not, you can use the slicer on your food processor. No special equipment? Slice thin with a knife, that would work just fine.

Butter a baking dish, or use non-stick spray. Form a layer of overlapping sweet potato medallions. Sprinkle the top of each layer with the following:
  • Course salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Brown sugar
  • Pumpkin pie spice

Repeat for a total of three layers. If it sounds odd to add salt and pepper to a sweet dish, do not let that stop you. This combination works so don't be shy. I am a fan of fresh grated nutmeg, so I add that in addition to the pumpkin pie spice.

Pumpkin pie spice is a blend of:
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Lemon peel
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • Cardamom

Pour cream over the sweet potatoes until about half way up the side of the baking dish. This 9 X 13 dish will serve over 20 people.

Baked covered with aluminum foil at 350 until the potatoes are al dente, about 1 1/2 hours. You might want to put the baking dish on an underliner, as it tends to bubble over. Remove foil and continue cooking until the potatoes are soft and the top is browned.

Holiday Tip: I make this a day ahead, cooking covered until al dente. Then I let it cool and refrigerate over night. Take out of the refrigerator about an hour before reheating. Cook uncovered until hot and bubbly. The best part: You can reheat this in the oven while your turkey is out of the oven and resting.

It is also a great dish to bring to someone else's party. Once cooked, it transports well. Wrap it in aluminum foil and just heat it up when you get there. All the different spices make for an interesting dish, you'll be a hero.

Speaking of being a hero, Aunt GeeGee (that would be me) is one too, with a new basketball court for my nephews! Here is Stone on the day before Thanksgiving. Nice shot! We took a break from cooking to shoot some hoops. By the way I don't just shoot photographs, I've been known to shoot a three-pointer every once in a while too!