I love plain sweet potatoes roasted in foil with just salt & pepper and a spatter of butter. But my extended family likes the southern sweet style of potatoes with marsh mellow, which I cannot make for any amount of money in the world. One year I needed a middle ground for a holiday dinner and this is the recipe I stumbled upon.
This is not sweet, but very rich and better if you make it a day or so in advance, cover it, and reheat it for your meal. The flavors meld together and the potatoes are so creamy they melt in your mouth. This is the least healthy dish I make during the holiday but it goes with anything I put on the table, meatloaf, chicken, turkey, steak, ham, fish-maybe. It only takes a little bit to fill you up and the rest of the meal can be totally healthy.
The cream and whipping cream make this dish unique. You can lighten it with low fat and regular milk, but the flavor will not be the same. I’ve tried it. It’s not worth it; just eat less, or try to! I’ve found similar recipes since I started making this one many moons ago. I still love it better than the ones with whole milk and cheese. I’ll give up the cheese for the whipping cream in this recipe.
Be warned- it takes a really large dish to bake this. I use a 2 1/2″ high oval dish that is about 8″ wide and 12″ long. Deeper is not necessarily better for this dish. The potatoes really need to be layered correctly or it won’t bake all the way through properly and it will be runny.
Another note on the preparation. I noticed over the years that in the time it takes to skin the potatoes and slice them thinly, some of the potatoes browned up a bit in the air. So now I put all of the milk into a large bowl and I throw the potato slices into the milk as I slice them up. They don’t turn and begin to absorb the milk before they cook. The salt, pepper and flour need to go into the individual layers, so keep those out of the milk mixture.
- 1 large clove roasted garlic, smashed or minced
- 2 1/2 lbs raw small medium starch potatoes like Yukon or local yellow.
- Peeled and cut into 1/8-1/4″ slices
- 1 lb raw sweet potato peeled and cut into 1/8-1/4″ slices
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups half/half
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs (whole wheat work well)
- 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
Put the potato slices into the mixed creams while you work through them.
Preheat the oven to 325F and use olive oil to lightly grease the baking dish. Spread the roasted garlic on the bottom of the dish and then cover with about 1/2 of the yellow potatoes.
Sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon of the flour, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Cover this layer with all of the slices of sweet potato and sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Cover this layer with remaining yellow potatoes and pour leftover milk into the dish. Sprinkle the remaining salt and pepper on the top. Cover the potatoes with foil and bake for 1 hour.
Mix the butter and bread crumbs together and after first hour of baking add the bread crumbs to the top of the dish and uncover to finish baking for 45 minutes longer.
Serve immediately or cool and reheat with foil covering the next day. You can stop baking halfway through the process and cool and finish baking the next day but remember to bring the dish to room temperature before baking and you may need to add 15 minutes to the process because it is much cooler than it would have been on the second part of the bake time.
Cooking Notes added February 2012
- To lower the GI count, use sliced white turnips (they are more mild than the purple topped) or rutabagas to replace the white potatoes. Turnips take on an almost sweet flavor where the rutabagas are more similar to the white potatoes.
- To lower the fat count, replace the half/half with whole milk. The cream still provides sweetness it adds to the dish but it is less filling with the whole milk.