This recipe for Russet and Sweet Potato Au Gratin is not only easy … but fairly quick to make.
I came across an Emeril recipe that combined russet potatoes and sweet potatoes in a cheesy sauce and thought what a perfect side to a holiday ham or actually just about any meat. I made a few changes and because of the cheese decided to change the name … au gratin… since au gratin involves a creamy sauce with cheese.
I changed the cheese… he used shredded Swiss… I used a Monterey Jack/Mexican cheese mixture and used almost double the amount of cheese than he used … I also added onion powder to the cream mixture when cooking the potatoes…
I know this dish is rich… but as a special holiday side dish … I think it’s a winner.
The original recipe was a little too bland for my tastes… that’s why I added the onion powder… I used a teaspoon… I think if you prefer a more pronounced onion flavor … I’d recommend you use a bit more.
Sautéed shallots would be an excellent addition… sauté them in very little butter (about a tablespoon) .. just to soften them .. then add them to the layers when you set up the baking dish.
I used the real thing.. heavy cream… I do think substituting fat free half and half is a viable option.. keep in mind.. the casserole will be a bit runnier.. but it will save loads on the fat content…
If use the Fat Free Half and Half and you like a thicker cream sauce… take about 3 cups of the half and half from the cooking liquid and mix 2 tablespoons of flour with it… whisk until it’s smooth … use that mixture to layer your casserole (see step by step instructions and you will understand what I mean).
I used the shredded “Mexican” mix of cheese you can find at the grocery store… cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby Jack would all work well.
I list the amount of cheese as 16 ounces.. this is approximate… as Rachael ray would say… eyeball it… just sprinkle a layer of cheese as directed in the instructions…
I think finely shredded cheese works best … but you can use the coarser shredded cheese if that’s what you have.
Slice the potatoes about ¼ inch thick.
The amounts of potatoes are approximate also… you want about 1 ½ pounds of each… I like to list it as the size potatoes because unless you’re buying it specifically for this recipe… if you don’t have a kitchen scale…you have to guess the weight .. just make sure there is an even amount of each.
You will have cream left from the cooking liquid of the potatoes… I had about 1 ½ cups left.
My dish had decent sides on it… and I didn’t fill it to the brim… and mine did not run over…. however…I’d recommend putting the baking dish on a foil lined baking sheet so that if it runs over you won’t have a mess in your oven.
This was a wonderful dish… really really good… the combination of the russet potatoes and sweet potatoes was terrific.
Recipe: Russet and Sweet Potato Au Gratin
All you need:
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
3-4 large russet potatoes, peeled and sliced
4 ¼ + cups of heavy cream (see Tips)
1 teaspoon onion powder (see Tips)
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
½ teaspoon salt
16 oz finely shredded Mexican blend cheese (see Tips)
All you have to do:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Lightly butter (or spray with butter flavored cooking spray) a 2 quart baking dish.
In a large pot, heat the heavy cream, salt, pepper and onion powder. Bring to a low simmer.
Add the sliced potatoes. Make sure the cream just covers them, if not,, add a bit more. I used 4 ¼ cups.
Simmer over medium low heat until potatoes are almost fork tender … about 10 minutes.
Spoon a little of the cream on the bottom of the baking dish. Spoon about 1/3 of the potatoes into the dish… then sprinkle about a 1/3 of the shredded cheese… spoon more cream on top of the potatoes… continue layering until you’ve layered all the potatoes and cheese.
Spoon additional cream on top. Make sure you spoon enough cream to almost over the potatoes… you will have cream left.
Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F until golden and bubbly… about 30-40 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
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