Spicy Sweet Potato Gratin

Lisa Chodosh

Food Editor's note:  This is a new twist on comfort food.  Creamy sweet potatoes with a real kick to it!  The dish is quite spicy with the amount of pepper specified in the recipe, so reduce it a bit if you'd like to tone down the heat.  If you like sweet potatoes and you like au gratin dishes, you will love this easy side dish.  Serve it with a thick piece of fish or as part of a vegetarian meal.

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons chipotle pepper in adobo – more or less to taste
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced very thin
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Puree the chipotle pepper in the blender or food processor.  Add cream and blend through quickly.  Be careful not to over process or the cream will turn into butter.

Arrange one fourth of the sweet potato slices in a 9-inch square baking pan.  Season with salt and pepper and cover with one fourth of the chipotle cream.  Repeat the process until all the potatoes and cream are used.
Bake in the preheated oven for about one hour, or until the cream has been absorbed and the potatoes are browned on top.  Serve warm.

Note:  Chipotle peppers in adobo are available canned or in jars in the ethnic food section of your supermarket and in local kosher markets..
Lisa Chodosh grew up in Wayland and is now a Manhattan-based restaurant consultant who regularly cooks for crowds.  She can be reached at lchodosh@pipeline.com.

Spicy Sweet Potato Gratin