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Ask The Chef

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I need to take a sweet potato dish to a Thanksgiving party, but I don’t want to take my mother’s super-sweet syrupy sweet potatoes. Do you have a suggestion?

Yes! Sweet potatoes are already sweet, so why do we add more sugar? How about this creamy gratin:

Sweet Potato-Corn Gratin

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 ears of corn
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 14-ounce can of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs or panko

Toss the sweet potatoes with olive oil and roast on a lined sheet pan at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Grill or roast the corn until browned, then cut off the kernals. Toss the corn with cumin, red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Place the sweet potatoes on the bottom of a 9×9 baking pan. Top with the corn. Pour the coconut milk over the vegetables and top with the breadcrumbs. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Note: A reader called and said, “how do you roast corn?” Here are several choices. Husk the corn and grill until golden brown, then cut off the kernals. Or cut off the kernals and dry-cook in a nonstick skillet until golden brown. Or place the cut kernals on a sheet pan and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Roasting the corn gives this gratin a more nutty flavor, but of course you can still make the gratin without roasting the corn.

2 Comments for “Ask the Chef: Sweet Potatoes”  

  1. PTD

    This was one of the hits at our Thanksgiving dinner! Due to family tastes, I made the following changes: no red pepper flakes and no cumin, but I substituted Spanish smoked paprika instead. Also, after testing the recipe with only sweet potatoes I wasn’t entirely happy with the quality of the sweet potatoes I had purchased, so I did the final run with half-and-half sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Thanks!

  2. Chef

    Sounds wonderful! I find that sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and pumpkin recipes are easily substitutable with each other.