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Gratin of Sweet Potatoes and Leeks and other Thanksgiving delights

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It’s Thanksgiving and if ever there was a time to cook, this is it.  I love this holiday. Like many people who weren’t born in this country, I see this day as a true celebration of America.  And in its inclusion of everyone– regardless of what religion they do or do not practice –it is a celebration of us all.  And it doesn’t hurt that the food we serve is some of the most delicious we make all year. And clearly the most bountiful.
         Today’s post is truly an example of over-the-top Thanksgiving cooking.   Fair warning…this is one of the richest things (aka fatty) I’ve made in a very long time.  But it was so delicious and really satisfying in tiny portions that I’d make again in a heartbeat…assuming I still had a pulse after consuming the pancetta and cream involved in the dish.

Before we get to this recipe, here are some other previously published Thanksgiving dishes that are well worth a look into. 

First, there’s the essential cranberry relish.  This is a must have on any table and this one is a winner.  I just got the following message from my friend, Susan; “I made your cranberry citrus relish yesterday.   I was tired of my mother’s recipe but had to sample yours before I served it on Turkey Day.  It was d-double-ious!”  And here’s the link to the story and the recipe:https://chewingthefat.us.com/2009/12/ultimate-cranberry-citrus-relish.html

Then there’s the recipe for Cornbread stuffing..Susan goes on to say: “I’m dying to try the cornbread stuffing too, but my traditional sausage stuffing is a big favorite.  Maybe two this year?”  I think mine is pretty terrific. https://chewingthefat.us.com/2009/12/cornbread-and-sausage-dressing.html

Finally, I highly recommend this incredible pumpkin layer cake:https://chewingthefat.us.com/2010/10/brown-butter-pumpkin-layer-cake.html And to further tell you how much we love this cake, I had to bring in a virtual ‘batterie de cuisine’ so that this cake can be made in Pennsylvania, where we are headed for Thanksgiving this year. 

Now to our Gratin of Sweet Potatoes and Leeks.  I adapted this recipe from Fine Cooking (again). I do highly recommend the magazine.  It really explains things extremely well and it illustrates virtually everything it talks about.  This dish was initially published in a story about Easter Ham.  So for those who bought ham at www.MontesHam.com, a shout-out to you all.  Thank you for making our initial selling period such a success. (We sold out!) But this gratin make a welcome addition to any roast you were serving, including a big beautiful roast turkey.


What I changed about the recipe was to increase the number of leeks used and, believe it or not, to lower the amount of cream recommended.  I went full strength on the pancetta.  If you have a mandolin, this is the time to use it.  You can create the most perfect and uniform slices of potato.  My children gave me a mandolin for Christmas a few years ago and it’s amazing how much I use it.  It’s the OXO mandolin and I’d order one right now.  You have to be very careful with the blade and I find the thingamajig that is supposed to protect your hand is difficult to use.  But once you’ve got the hang of it, you won’t believe how simple it is to achieve perfection.  Not to brag, but I think this looks incredibly good.  But please, if you have no mandolin, just thinly slice the potatoes with a regular knife.  Here’s the recipe:


2 thoughts on “Gratin of Sweet Potatoes and Leeks and other Thanksgiving delights”

  • Your commentary – my chuckle for the day! Recipe delicious. When last made I used both yams & the white sweet potatoes (lots of the latter in our markets at the moment).


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