With Hurricane Sandy quickly approaching I decidied to create and test another Thanksgiving side dish before the power goes out.(I also went out for D cell batteries but apparently everyone else had the same idea so I made a quick run to the liquor store for bourbon and wine). In case I am housebound for the next couple of days I wanted this particular recipe to be all about comfort so that it will sustain my family during the ensuing storm.To my mind, potatoes and cheese are the cashmere blanket of the food world. This scalloped sweet potato dish uses sharp cheddar and thinly sliced fennel flavored with a light cloud of cinnamon, smoked paprika and nutmeg. For all of you in Sandy’s path, stay safe. As for me, I say bring on the hurricane and bring on Thanksgiving, I am ready!
- 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin (with a mandoline if you have one)
- 1 large fennel bulb sliced very thin
- 3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp.smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup chicken stock
- In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon,smoked paprika,salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
- Butter a casserole dish. Layer one half of sliced sweet potatoes and all of the sliced fennel, covering bottom of dish.
- Sprinkle with half of the spice mixture.
- Layer half of grated cheddar on top of potatoes and fennel.
- Layer the rest of the potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining spices and then remaining cheddar.
- In a medium bowl combine cream and chicken stock then evenly over potatoes and cheese.
- Sprinkle bread crumbs over potatoes.
- Cover casserole dish with foil and cook for 50 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 10-15 minutes until golden on top.