Try this spicy, smoky, savory heirloom sweet potato gratin recipe for something a little different.
For most of my life I have eaten sweet potatoes or yams in a syrupy, sweet form. When I was growing up we had them with marshmallows and brown sugar. When I was making them myself it was most often bourbon, pecans, and brown sugar…I love sweet potatoes when they are made like that but as time went on I learned to love them in other ways. Baked, sweet potato salad, and sweet potato hash… so many amazing variations besides just sweet!
For the Captain Morgan’s blog challenge I wanted to do sweet potatoes. After all, it’s close to Thanksgiving and I needed to do something with sweet potatoes anyway, right? I also just happened to have several pounds of heirloom Crimson Red Velvet sweet potatoes that I had picked up at the Dallas Farmer’s Market.
I wanted the dish to have a uniquely Texas twist to it and I wasn’t at all sure I wanted it to be sweet. I wanted to create something that was an update on traditional sweet potatoes, something creamy but also something that allowed the flavor of the heirloom variety to shine.
This Heirloom Sweet Potato Gratin is complex with smoky, spicy, sweet, and rich flavors and textures all tap dancing across your tastebuds like a scene in a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie. The potatoes are sliced thinly and layered with bacon and smoked gouda, then covered in a blend of chipotle, Captain Morgan’s black rum, half and half cream, and a little brown sugar and baked until the potatoes are tender and have soaked up the liquid.
If you make it a day ahead of time and warm it up when you are serving dinner it is even better! This is a great make ahead side dish that you don’t have to save just for the holidays!
Local heirloom sweet potatoes are delicious but you can use sweet potatoes of any sort or yams in this recipe. Remember, this recipe is part of the Captain Morgan’s Captain’s Table recipe challenge. Whenever you share this blog page on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest with the hashtag #CaptainsTable Captain Morgan will give $1.00 to WhyHunger. Whenever you share or retweet one of my images or statuses with the #CaptainsTable Captain Morgan will give $1 to WhyHunger. It’s great way to help alleviate hunger without a lot of effort on your part.
Sweet Potato Gratin Recipe
Heirloom Sweet Potato Gratin
- 2 - 2 1/2 lbs heirloom sweet potatoes , peeled and slice 1/8 inch thick
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar , more if you'd like it a little sweeter
- 3/4 cup smoked Gouda , shredded
- 6 slices of bacon , cooked until crisp and crumbled, reserve bacon grease
- 1 cup half and half
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
- 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon grease
- 1 tablespoon canned chipotle chopped into a paste - or 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1/2 cup Captain Morgan's Black Spiced Rum
- Extra butter for top
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Grease an 2 quart casserole dish with the reserved bacon grease. Set aside.
- In a large bowl gently toss together the sliced sweet potatoes with the salt, pepper, melted butter, bacon grease, and brown sugar until it is all well mixed and the potatoes are coated with the mixture.
- Add a layer of the sweet potatoes to the dish.
- Cover with a layer of the smoked Gouda and then a sprinkle of crumbled bacon.
- Repeat until the dish is full, pushing down slightly as you add each layer.
- Whisk the half and half, rum, and chipotle together.
- Pour over the potatoes in the dish until the liquid shows at the top. You may need a little more or a little less cream.
- Dot with a little butter if desired.
- Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place on a cookie sheet.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove foil and continue to bake until the liquid is mostly gone and the potatoes are tender, about 20 more minutes
- Let cook to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate up to three days.
- Heat up before serving.
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Captain Morgan supplied me with Rum and a gift card to defray the costs during this blog challenge.