By Emily Malloy
Previously, we have had such fun discussing the importance of the Thanksgiving table and creation of a centerpiece, as well as the sweetest part of the day: pie. I am so happy to continue on our Theology of Home Thanksgiving Round-Up today as we move onto sides. Because on Thanksgiving, the side dishes are nearly as important as the turkey!
Potatoes are a much anticipated side dish on Thanksgiving. There are countless ways to fix potatoes to complement the turkey and endless varieties of potatoes to utilize in the process. I thought it would be fun to blend two common spud dishes into one: sweet potatoes and potatoes au gratin.
Commonly, sweet potatoes are sweetened up to adorn the Thanksgiving spread by way of brown sugar and marshmallows. This creation of a savory, decadent au gratin with sweet potatoes seemed like a great way to freshen up an old favorite. The creaminess and variety of cheeses and the subtle sweetness of the potatoes come together in a lovely way to make this a dish you will want to make time and again.
Fortunately, this is a dish you can assemble up to three days before Thanksgiving and then bake in the oven on the main day (we will discuss the method at the bottom).
Creamy Sweet Potatoes au Gratin
Yields: 8-10 servings
Time: 1 h 45 m
3 pounds sweet potatoes, thinly sliced into 1/8" rounds
1 red onion, cut into slices
2 tablespoons salted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half and half
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss and gruyere cheeses
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
1/2 cup shredded Swiss and gruyere cheeses
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1. Preheat the oven to 375*F. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray or butter/oil.
2. In three long rows in the baking dish, place the sliced potatoes in tight, slanted rows. Placing onion slices between the rows, potato slices, and sprinkled on top.
3. In a saucepot over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour, one tablespoon at a time, alternating with 1/4 cup of half and half, whisking away any lumps. Simmer the mixture until it has a consistency like gravy.
4. Lower the heat and add in the 1 1/2 cups of Swiss and gruyere cheeses, as well as 1/2 cup of goat cheese, spices, salt, pepper, and herbs. Adding any more salt and pepper to taste.
5. Once combined, pour over the potatoes and onions to evenly cover them.
6. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
7. Remove foil, sprinkle on the remaining cheese topping and bake for an additional 30-45 minutes uncovered. Test doneness with a fork.
Printable recipe can be found here!
Making this dish ahead of time
To ease the burden of prepping and cooking many dishes on Thanksgiving day, there are a handful of ways to make the day much smoother. As I had mentioned in the Pumpkin Pie and Pear-Bourbon Pie posts, these pies can be baked and frozen ahead of the day. Side dishes like these Creamy Sweet Potatoes au Gratin can be assembled ahead of time, not baked, and covered fully with plastic wrap and placed in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. On the day of, simply remove from the oven, cover with foil and continue on the same baking steps as outlined above, making sure to add about 15 minutes to the time.