Monday, March 3, 2014

Recipe: Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

I love sweet potatoes but wanted to stay away from the traditional sugared-up versions found on many recipe sites. So I was thrilled to find thisgreat option for scalloped sweet potatoes on the Tasty Kitchen Blog.

But…I’ll be honest; I struggled with the preparation part. It calls for sweet potatoes cut in ¼ inch slices. I’m terrified of knives so my slices ended up more like ½ inch thick with various levels of thickness in each slice. So it kind of turned out crappy. It’s really important to get the sweet potatoes as thin and consistent as possible for the best cooking results.
What is the secret to getting these so thin?

2 pounds sweet potatoes (I just used two large sweet potatoes)
5 strips bacon
½ white onion, chopped finely (add more if you like onion)
2-½ tablespoons white flour
½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons black pepper
1 cup Half N Half
1 cup skim milk
1-¼ cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Peel potatoes and cut into 1/4 inch slices or thinner. Place potatoes in a large pot of boiling water. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until just tender. Don’t overcook! Drain well and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, fry bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain on a paper towel, crumble and set aside.
3. Add chopped onion to bacon drippings and cook until tender. Stir in flour over low heat and cook to a paste. Add salt and pepper. Add milk and cook until mixture thickens slightly.
4. Arrange half of the sweet potatoes in the bottom of an 11×7 inch baking dish. Sprinkle on half of the crumbled bacon. Pour on half of the milk mixture. Arrange remaining potatoes, sprinkle with remaining bacon and pour the rest of the milk mixture over the top. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. If desired, brown cheese for 1-2 minutes under the broiler.

I use thislittle chopper to mince up the onion – works great!
I had some leftover bacon from my Turkey Meatloaf recipe so I cooked it ahead of time and forgot to save the bacon fat. So I just used a bit of olive oil to fry the onion in.
I would not recommend leaving out the bacon or the onion – the parmesan cheese is a nice touch but the recipe still needs all the flavor it can get. I still think it needs a bit of savory zip in there somewhere so was going to experiment with some herbs next time around.
Potluck tip: if prepared in advance, bake as directed, cover and refrigerate for up to one day. Reheat at 325 degrees for 15 minutes covered, then remove cover and continue heating until warm.