Sunday, October 7, 2012

Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Gratin



         This side dish is a twist on the classic potato gratin, aka scalloped potatoes. I've given the dish little touch of fall by including some butternut squash and sweet potatoes. When it comes to which cheese to use, Gruyere or Parmesan are both good choices, but I decided to go a little off the beaten path and went with Pecorino. Pecorino is similar to Parmesan (it's a firm, aged cheese) but it's made with sheep's milk. It's a little more tangy than Parmesan and goes really well with the squash. If you want an even more flavorful gratin, you can try adding a little sage and/or nutmeg.

Prep time: 30 minutes. Cooking time 45 minutes. Serves 6



Ingredients:

1 butternut squash
1 large sweet potato
2 large Yukon gold Potatos
300ml milk
300ml 35% cream
2 tbs butter
100g pecorino cheese, grated
1 tbs sage, finely chopped (optional)
2 pinches ground nutmeg (optional)
salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 375F

1. Peel all the vegetables and then use a spoon to scrape the seeds from the butternut squash. Thinly slice all the vegetables.

2. Use 1 tbs of butter to grease a baking tray deep enough to hold all the vegetables. Place the vegetables down in layers in the baking tray, seasoning with salt & pepper as you go.

3. Combine the milk and cream in a sauce pot and bring to a gentle simmer. Remove from the heat and stir in half the cheese and 1 tbs butter. Season with salt & pepper. Add the nutmeg and/or sage (optional.)

4. Pour the cream & milk mixture over the vegetables and then press down with a spatula. Add a bit more cream and milk if necessary to ensure that the vegetable are covered.

5. Cover the tray with aluminum foil and bake in the oven at 375F. After 30 minutes, remove the cover and add the remaining 50g of cheese. Return to the oven and bake uncovered until the vegetables are soft and a knife will pass through the gratin with little or no resistance. For an extra crisp crust, place the gratin under the broiler until the cheese is thoroughly browned.






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