The Food Network Channel can be addictive. It’s a good thing I don’t have a television set! I never knew who Ina Garten was until I saw The Barefoot Contessa on TV while housesitting for friends in Portland, Oregon.
Ina’s potato-fennel gratin stuck to mind because it was so easy to make. You can prepare it ahead of time, keep it in the fridge then bake it when you’re ready. Which was exactly what I did on several occasions. I adapted her recipe and used what was available: parsnip instead of fennel and for this recipe, sweet potato instead of plain boring potato. The result is that extra sweetness that makes this an ideal companion to the roast turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. Not that we celebrate Thanksgiving here in Kiwiland. But there is a lot to be thankful for. Every day that we are alive should be Thanksgiving Day.
For a crunchy topping, I added breadcrumbs to the cheese and cream mixture.
I learned the hard way that using individual ramekins cooked the gratin faster so I needed to adjust both the temperature and baking time. It turned out a little dry for my liking but was fabulously delicious nevertheless. And it smelled so good that I had to eat it while shooting!
Sweet Potato and Fennel Gratin ~ Recipe here