The final gratin! This recipe had simple ingredients, smelled delicious while it was cooking, and was easy to prepare. Unfortunately, the final product was very one-note and a bit of a disappointment. I would recommend it as a sweet potato side dish, but not as a main course.
The recipe called for 3 pounds of sweet potatoes, and again, it’s important to use a mandoline or another kind of slicer to ensure the slices are even. The only other ingredients were a few shallots and garlic cloves, butter and cream, Parmesan, 2 pounds of swiss chard, and some white wine.
First, you cook the swiss chard, and it only takes a few minutes for it to wilt down and reduce significantly. This part is kind of fun.
After that, you make a little sauce from the cream, water and wine. I used this white wine, which I happened to have on hand:
The main problem I had with the execution of this recipe is that it doesn’t say to reduce or thicken the sauce at all: just bring it to a simmer and then keep it warm. Later, when you’re baking the dish, you have to wait until almost all the liquid is evaporated, which in retrospect would have been much easier had it been cooked down initially. It more or less hung out on the bottom of the dish and didn’t really absorb or evaporate.
Like the other gratins, this one takes a long time to bake – over an hour and a half, and I had to bake it 20 minutes longer than the recipe required. It smelled DELICIOUS while it was baking!
When it was finally ready to eat, the dish turned out to be kind of disappointing. It smelled much better than it tasted, which was more or less just like sweet potatoes.
The bottom line:
Difficulty: a lot of slicing of sweet potatoes, but overall, very easy to prepare. 1 chef knife out of 5. 🔪
Kid-friendliness: this isn’t too bad for kids, as long as they like sweet potatoes. But not a dish they would be likely to ask for over and over. 3 yummy faces out of 5. 😋😋😋
Time: not a lot of time to prepare, but a while to bake. A little less than for the other gratins, but again, I had to add 20 minutes to the suggested baking time. 3 out of 5 snails. 🐌🐌🐌
Mess: not a messy recipe. A few prep bowls, a dutch oven, knife and cutting board – pretty much the bare minimum. 1 out of 5 dirty dishes. 🥣
Overall: 👍🏽, but not super-enthusiastic.
I’d recommend this as a healthy side dish, but it’s not interesting enough to be a main course. It was easy to make but I would suggest cooking the sauce for a longer time to reduce and thicken it.
I couldn’t find the recipe online, but here is one that looks similar, if you’d like to try it and don’t have the cookbook yet!: