3.04.2010

Sweet Potato and Pancetta Gratin (**Award-Winning***)


As soon as we heard about the Sweet Potato Bloggers Contest, we went to our favorite produce market and picked up two of the biggest sweet potatoes we could find. Sweet potatoes work well as a substitute for regular potatoes in most recipes, and we intended to change our muffin-tin potato gratin recipe to use these orange beauties.


Chris sliced the potatoes nice and thin using his favorite chef knife, and as he laid them in the muffin cups, I did the assembly: a little bit of salt, a little bit of white pepper, a pinch of pancetta and a pinch of shredded gruyere. He kept slicing and I kept assembling, until the muffin tins were close to overflowing (photo below). Two tablespoons of heavy cream needed to go on top of each individual gratin, and then, into the oven they went.

Fifteen minutes later and the fragrant scent of melting cheese and roasting potatoes began to fill the kitchen. Another twenty minutes and they were done (photo, below). We let them cool a bit so we could get them out of the muffin tin, and voila! We were so pleased with the great balance of sweetness from the potato, sharp tanginess from the gruyere, and smokiness from the pancetta. A delicious, albeit decadent, side dish!

Ingredients:

1 large sweet potato
6 ounces gruyere cheese, shredded
4 ounces pancetta, diced small
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
salt
white pepper

Special equipment: 12-cup muffin tin

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the sweet potato into thin rounds. Put one slice of the sweet potato into each cup of a 12-cup muffin tin. Top with a pinch each of the shredded gruyere, the diced pancetta, salt and white pepper. Top with another slice of sweet potato, and continue to layer as described above until the muffin cups are close to filled. Pour two tablespoons of heavy cream on top of each cup and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake, uncovered, for an additional 20 minutes. Allow to cool before removing from muffin tin and serve as a side dish to your favorite main course.

Yield: 12 individual gratins

4 comments:

The Duo Dishes said...

A little sweet, a little salty, very savory. This works!

denise @ quickies on the dinner table said...

I love sweet potatoes and pancetta AND cheese, so this is just perfect in my book!

Danielle said...

What a positively yummy way to use the ubiquitous sweet potato! comfort food in a muffin cup. Nice.

Laural (bhealthier) said...

These look incredibly tasty! Congrats on doing so well in the contest!