I know it may seem a little premature for Thanksgiving recipes, seeing as today is Halloween and all, BUT tomorrow – as we all know – is November 1st. That means you have approximately 3 ½ weeks, 27 days and 648 hours to prepare for your Thanksgiving meal, and in my world, that basically means I’m in a panic, frantically searching old magazines, cookbooks and blogs for the perfect additions to our Thanksgiving table.
Food-wise Thanksgiving is hands-down my favorite meal of the year, and I absolutely agonize on what I’m going to prepare each year – should I go with the classics, which can be boring, or something new, which can be totally risky. After much back and forth action, my Mom and I typically decide on about 80% classic, family recipes and 20% new, adventurous recipes. It works out rather nicely as those who are little weary to anything outside of the norm are kept content, and those (my Mom and I) who prefer a little something outside of the box every once in a while are also happy. Plus if anything is completely atrocious, we have plenty of back up and not a soul will be the wiser.
This year, I’ll be at my in-laws in Baltimore for the holiday, so I won’t have complete control over the menu (something I’m secretly relishing in) like I’m used to, but if there’s one dish I plan on brining to the festivities – it’s these mini sweet potato gratins.
I know that sweet potatoes are a staple on pretty much every Thanksgiving menu across the country, but in my family, for some reason they weren’t ever part of the ensemble that made it to our dinner table. I’m pretty sure it stems from my Dad’s distaste towards sweet potatoes, and my Mom’s eventual admit to defeat in converting him. BUT over the course of the last couple years, we’ve slowly started to introduce sweet potatoes into the holiday lineup. Two years ago, we had a phenomenal chipotle sweet potato gratin, last year, a gruyere and sage potato gratin, and this year – these adorable mini gratins.
A mash-up between two tried-and-true Thanksgiving sides, these encompass all the classic flavors and ingredients of a traditional soufflé, yet have the structure of a gratin. First, a mixture of brown sugar, butter and chopped hazelnuts fill the bottom of each muffin tin, followed by a towering layer of thinly sliced sweet potatoes (skin on). Every other layer of sweet potato is drizzled with a just a hint of olive oil, salt and pepper and a tablespoon of whole milk is poured into each vessel. The whole thing is popped into a hot oven, and baked until it’s bubbly and the potatoes are cooked though.
Happy Thanksgiving all! Errr…I mean Halloween….
Are Sweet Potatoes Nutritious?
Sweet potatoes contain high amounts of fiber and potassium.
One of the key nutritional benefits of sweet potato is that they’re high in an antioxidant known as beta-carotene which converts to Vitamin A.
We need vitamin A for healthy skin and mucus membranes, our immune system, and good eye health and vision.
Can Sweet Potatoes Be Fried?
Yes, sweet potatoes can be fried.
You can par-boil, slice and fry in butter or oil.
You can also fry raw sweet potatoes.
Just peel, fry in oil, stirring often, until crisp and brown, and add desired seasonings.
Can Sweet Potatoes Cause Heartburn?
Sweet Potatoes are not usually a trigger for heartburn.
Mini Sweet Potato Gratins
- 3 medium sized sweet potatoes, sliced thin on a mandoline (about 1/8 inch thick)
- ¼ cup + 1/8 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon water
- 4 tablespoons hazelnuts, finely chopped
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- ½ cup whole milk
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Generously grease a standard sized muffin tin.
- In a small microwave-proof bowl, combine brown sugar, butter and water.
- Microwave in 20-second increments until brown sugar has dissolved.
- Evenly divide the mixture between muffin tins.
- Evenly sprinkle chopped hazelnuts in each muffin tin.
- Stack two slices of sweet potato in each tin.
- Drizzle with a touch of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Repeat until the sweet potato reach the top.
- Measure milk out in a liquid measuring cup.
- Whisk in cinnamon.
- Evenly pour milk over each gratin.
- Bake until bubbly and potatoes are cooked through, about 25-30 minutes.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 70 Saturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 3.6mg Sodium: 0mg Carbohydrates: 10.9g Fiber: 0.7g Sugar: 8g Protein: 1g
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