by: Ruth-Anne Penner
When it comes to eating out there is nothing better than eating at Mom's place. I was visiting my mother earlier this month, and she popped the question no spoiled grown-up child wants to hear...
"So, did you want to host Thanksgiving this year?"
I knew my sister had hosted Christmas last year, and Easter this year. My mom always has everyone over when there is a birthday to celebrate. It's only fair that I host Thanksgiving, right? The problem is that I don't believe that by me hosting Thanksgiving is fair to everyone else. I had doubts about my ability to make a Thanksgiving meal, one that I consider healthy and one that everyone else would enjoy. But thee is something I do know about myself. I never back down from a challenge.
So the search was on. My goal was to find healthy recipes that are appropriate for Thanksgiving, and enjoyable for everyone.
Sweet Potato Casserole, Gratin Style
Yield: Serves 6-8
- 4 large onions, sliced into thin half-moons
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced very thinly (use of a mandolin is strongly recommended)
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
For the sauce
- 1 cup water
- 3 tbsp unpasteurized honey
- 1 tbsp Dijon musard
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 100g pecans, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp unpasteurized honey
- Preheat the oven to 375F
- Heat a little bit of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, salt and pepper and cook until very soft and caramelized, about 20-25 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of water from time to time to help deglaze the pan and soften the onion. Always wait until the water has fully evaporated before adding more.
- Arrange one third of the sweet potatoes in a rectangular baking dish. Make sure the potatoes overlap by about half a slice.
- Top with half the caramelized onions and spread evenly. Repeat with another layer of sweet potatoes, then add the rest of the caramelized onions, followed a final layer of potatoes. It might be a good idea to keep your prettiest potato slices for the final layer.
- Sprinkle chopped pecans evenly over that final layer of potatoes. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, or large measuring cup, add all the ingredients of the sauce and mix until well blended.
- Very delicately pour over your potato dish, being careful as to not disturb the pecans.
- Cover loosely with foil and bake in the oven for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, drizzle a tablespoon of honey over the pecan crust and return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.
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