I recently made a very, very good yam and swiss chard gratin from Smitten Kitchen. I also recently made a pork loin with fruit stuffing and a chipotle sherry cream sauce from a restaurant cookbook. The fruit stuffing was delicious and the sauce was amazing but altogether the pork loin dish managed to be simultaneously to dry and too rich. Not good.
I ended up with cups and cups of leftover chipotle sherry cream sauce. It made me sad to throw away all of that cream, so I made another yam and swiss chard gratin with the chipotle sherry cream sauce. It was excellent, although in my opinion, gratin made with heavy cream is a little over the top.
I STILL had a bunch of a very good chipotle paste leftover from the pork loin recipe and I can eat A LOT of yams and swiss chard, so I made ANOTHER swiss chard and yam gratin with the chipotle paste and whole milk and the extra juice from the swiss chard that the original recipe said to discard (I hate throwing away vegetable liquour!) I’ll make it again too, because it rocked…and I still have a lot of chipotle paste left. Here is the recipe!
YAM, SWISS CHARD AND CHIPOTLE GRATIN adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 pounds Swiss chard, leaves and stems separated and both cut into 1-inch pieces
- about 1 cup whole milk (maybe a bit more)
- 2 tablespoons flour (I used bob’s red mill gluten-free flour)
- 1 Tablespoon Chipotle paste (recipe below)
- 2 pounds medium red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled and cut into 1/8-inch thick rounds
- Fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) coarsely grated hard aged cheese of your choice (I used parmesan)
- Cook onion in 2 tablespoons butter in a wide 8-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened.
- Add chard stems, salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender but not browned, about 8 minutes.
- Increase heat to moderately high and add chard leaves by large handfuls, stirring, until all greens are wilted. Season with salt and pepper then transfer greens to a colander to drain well and press out liquid with back of a large spoon. Reserve the liquid!
- Combine the greens liquid with enough milk to make 2 cups liquid total.
- Put the liquid in a small saucepan; bring to simmer and keep warm.
- Melt two tablespoons butter in a medium heavy saucepan over moderate heat and stir in flour. Cook roux, whisking, one minute, then slowly whisk in warm cream/milk and boil, whisking, until the sauce thicken to the consistency of cream.
- Season sauce with salt and pepper and one tablespoon of chipotle paste.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter deep 9×13 baking dish. Spread half of sweet potatoes in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and a 1/4 cup of the cheese.
- Distribute half of the greens mixture over the cheese, then sprinkle salt, pepper 1/4 cup of the cheese over it.
- Pour half of bechamel sauce over the first two layers.
- Continue with the remaining sweet potatoes, more salt, pepper and cheese and then the remaining greens, salt and pepper. Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the gratin, pressing the vegetables slightly to ensure that they are as submerged as possible. Sprinkle with the last 1/4 cup of cheese.
- Bake gratin for about 1 hour until golden and bubbly, and most of the liquid is absorbed. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
- 1 can chiles chipotles en adobo
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 Tablespoons dried mexican oregano
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable or olive oil