Sweet Potatoes with Browned Butter

 

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We made up a little song about this one: the lyrics are “Sweet potato goodness, sweet potato goodness, sweet potato¬†

goodness.” This is technically a side, but I’d eat it for dessert — and I wouldn’t even have to be in a pinch. Clara eats at least three helpings any time it’s offered.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes (or 2 very large ones)
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Drizzle olive oil over sweet potatoes and roast for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until sweet potatoes are very tender.
  3. Peel sweet potatoes (the skins should come right off after roasting).
  4. Melt butter over medium heat and heat until brown, stirring often and reducing heat if necessary to prevent burning.
  5. Combine butter and sweet potatoes in blender or food processor until smooth.

Perfect Potatoes au Gratin (with Ham)

I had potatoes and I had ham, so that settled it—time to make Potatoes au Gratin. I selected The Pioneer Woman’s recipe, tweaked it a little and doubled it for our small group dinner last night. It was crazy good; as in, two helpings good. Which is saying a lot for me because I usually choose to eat two helpings of dessert, not potatoes. Eat! And enjoy.

8 whole russet potatoes, peeled
2-3 T butter, softened
1 pint heavy cream
2 cup whole milk
4 T flour
8 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 t salt
pepper, to taste (don’t skimp!)
3 C ham, cubed
2 c sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Smear softened butter all over the bottom of a 9×13″ baking dish.

Slice potatoes, then cut slices into fourths (thicker slices will take longer to cook). In a separate bowl, whisk together cream, milk, flour, minced garlic, salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

Place 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish, then place approximately 1 C of ham over it. Pour 1/3 of the cream mixture over the potatoes. Repeat this two more times, ending with the cream mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are golden brown and really bubbling. Add grated cheese to the top of the potatoes and bake for 3 to 5 more minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Allow to stand for a few minutes before serving by the spoonful.

**This modified recipe serves 8 adults easily and allows leftovers for lunch the next day. To make a nice side dish you could omit the ham and reduce quantities of ingredients by half.