December 11, 2013

Sweet-Potato Gratin

Sweet potatoes have got to be a quintessential side dish to any Thanksgiving feast.  They're sweet and satisfying-almost more of a dessert than a vegetable!  This simple gratin is delicious and can easily be prepared ahead of time.              

4 to 5 sweet potatoes
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 cup lightly packed dark-brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dish
2 cups miniature marshmallows

Place unpeeled potatoes in a large pot of cold water, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are just fork-tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain, then place in a bowl of cold water until skins begin to loosen.  Remove peelings and set aside.  In a small bowl, combine pecans, brown sugar, spices, and butter, using your fingers to blend together.  Slice potatoes 1/4-inch thick.  Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Butter an 8-inch-square baking dish.  Layer a third of the potatoes on the bottom, then sprinkle with a third of the pecan mixture.  Repeat, adding another third of the potatoes, another third of the pecan mixture, then the remaining potatoes and pecan mixture.  Cover with foil, and bake until heated through, about 40 minutes.  Remove dish from oven and raise temperature to broil.  Top gratin with marshmallows and heat just until browned, 30 to 60 seconds.

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