Perhaps you’ve noticed I’ve been on a tear with the coconut lately (I ordered a bunch of product from this super awesome website). I am loving the way my dishes turn out using coconut milk and oil, and I feel great about its health benefits.
A traditional gratin of potatoes and cream makes the perfect accompaniment to roasted meats in winter, so why not take the concept and tweak it with coconut milk, bacon, and cardamom to make it warm-weather food friendly? This version will make the perfect side dish to any grilled meat, so get out there and fire up the BBQ (before it gets too hot to turn on the darn oven).
Sweet Potato Gratin with Bacon, Cardamom, and Coconut Milk:
4 slices thick-cut bacon
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 C. coconut milk
1 tsp. ground cardamom
4 large or 5 medium sweet potatoes (4 pounds), peeled
S & P
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook the bacon in a wide saute pan over medium heat until lightly crisp. Set aside, leaving the rendered fat in the pan. Cook the onion in the rendered fat until very soft, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Season with a little salt.
Place the coconut milk and the cardamom into a small pan over medium heat to warm, whisking to combine them thoroughly. While to onion cools and the coconut milk warms, slice the peeled sweet potatoes into approximately 1/4” disks, as evenly as you can.
Layer half of the sweet potatoes in the bottom of a 9 x 13 glass or ceramic baking dish, overlapping them by about an inch. Sprinkle the sweet potatoes lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper. Scatter half of the onion mixture over the top and then moisten the mixture by pouring over about 1/2 a cup of the warm coconut milk mixture.
Repeat with the remaining sweet potatoes, again sprinkling them with a little salt and pepper, followed by the remaining onions. Whisk the coconut milk and cardamom together again and then pour all of the mixture over the top, being sure to get some into every nook and cranny. The liquid will only come up the sides of the pan about 2/3 of the way, which is just fine. Lastly, roughly chop the bacon and sprinkle over the top of the gratin.
Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Remove the foil and cook an additional 15 minutes to help reduce the liquid and re-crisp the bacon.
Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. This recipe makes a large batch (enough for 8-10 servings), but the leftovers are delicious and will keep for up to a week in the fridge. Feel free to halve the recipe and make the gratin in an 8 x 8 baking dish if a smaller batch is preferable.