Well, it’s about that time again (for those of us in the U.S.). Thanksgiving. What are you making?

I am in charge of the terrible, lovely, death-inducing broccoli, rolls, and a chipotle-maple sweet potato gratin that I haven’t really worked all the kinks out of yet. This is the base recipe up on Food Network’s website. It is wrong. My mom had this dish at Bobby Flay’s restaurant in Las Vegas, and it’s rather different than the one here. For starters, there’s no maple syrup in it. Secondly (and this is the big problem), there’s too much liquid in it. It won’t hold its shape.

A couple weeks ago, my parents and I embarked on a journey to fix this. We tried six different methods.

1) bake the sweet potato slices first (the best attempt, although still not right)
2) use evaporated milk instead of cream (this was terrible)
3) use sour cream instead of cream (curdled)
4) use ricotta instead of cream (bad texture)
5) add an egg to thicken the cream (nope)
6) salt the sweet potato slices first to get them to dry out a bit and absorb more cream (nope)

Last December, I tried making it using a bechamel sauce, but it broke in the oven. It was tasty, though- once you poured off the inch of fat floating on top.

Anyone have any ideas on how to make this work? I’ve still got a week to experiment.

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