Sweet Potatoes Dauphinoise
Happy New Year 2014!!! 2013 was busy and exciting for me and the final 3 months were the busiest of all! My greatest accomplishments of 2013 was to finally start cooking school in September. My life-long desire to put my passion for food into action has finally come to life and I couldn’t be happier.
Eight weeks at Leith’s School of Food and Wine has showed me I am doing exactly what I should do but I am here to report that I have been dog tired, as in can’t even lift my head up off the floor to scratch at the flee behind my ear dog tired. But who cares?! I have never been so happy as I am in chef’s whites merrily cooking or learning techniques and theory involving food. I have learned a million new skills and to do almost everything I have ever done in the kitchen the right way instead of the sloppy way. Just to give you an idea, here are a few examples:
I have learned to fillet a fish, joint a chicken, scramble, bake, fry, poach, scramble, and boil eggs, whip meringues, pipe icing, brown meat, congeal custard, make a million kinds of pie pastry, whip cream, aerate flour, make choux into eclairs, gougers and profiteroles, whip, fold and cream cakes, render fat, temper chocolate, froth mousse, deep fry goujons, wield a pastry, filleting, boning, santoku, office and fruit knife, bake fruit, roast everything, split curds and whey, baton, chop, dice, concasse, julienne and slice every vegetable imaginable (including my fingers) and bake simple breads.
I will admit though that as my standards sky rocket in the kitchen at school, my standards at home have slipped into an abyss of quick noodles and scrambled eggs, hence the lack of posts! Not to mention an endless house hunt which has finally come to a moving date – now! But never mind that, let’s start the new year off right and as we mean to go on! Back to regular posts courtesy of more time on my greedy little hands. Yippee!
I have been on and off obsessed with sweet potatoes and now I’m on again. Sweet potatoes are versatile and interesting although often over looked. Let’s start with a dauphinoise shall we?
Sweet Potatoes Dauphinoise
Preheat oven to 200c/400f/gas mark 6
3 medium sweet potatoes (about 500g)
1/2 large white onion
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
handful of fresh or dried thyme, stripped from the stalks
400 ml whole milk (can be alternated with double cream but not single cream)
Peel and thinly slice onions
and put into a saucepan with milk. The milk should be enough to just cover the onions when they are laying flat as they can in the pan. Crush garlic and add to the pan.
Strip and add thyme leaves and bring milk up to scalding point, which is to bring it to just below the boil, then turn it off and allow to infuse. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Peel and evenly slice sweet potatoes into 3mm/ one eighth inch thick even slices
Layer slices over lapping eachother in the bottom of an oven proof dish of suitable sized casserole dish (here I am using a 2 pint/ 2+ litre casserole) then spoon a layer of onions evenly over the top, inter-layering until you reach the top layer of potatoes.
Once you’ve finished layering to the top, pour the remaining milk over the potatoes, cover and put in the oven for 15 minutes then bring oven temprature down to 180c/350f/gas mark 4 and bake for a further 30-45 minutes. The top layer should start to crisp around the edges and the liquid should nearly be gone. You can pour off a bit of liquid towards the end of cooking if you like, sweet potatoes put out more water than white potatoes so this may be necessary. All the milk will have been absorbed though so you won’t lose any flavour if you do this.
Test for doneness by inserting a skewer or butter knife. The potatoes are done when insertion is easy. Tip- insert to the side of one of the top layer slices so it doesn’t leave an unsightly hole.
I have served these with:
Baked Salmon – sprinkle with dill, drizzle with a little olive oil, wrap in a tin foil pouch and bake in the same oven for about 8 minutes.
Roasted Cauliflower – simply cut or break into florets, salt and roast in a tin for 10-15 minutes.
Both of these can be done alongside the potatoes so it’s easy to bring together. Happy eating![SHARE]