Thanksgiving is just the best holiday. Hands down. It’s all about good food and family time. That’s all you need. No presents, no fuss. Leading into Thanksgiving, I’m going to be sharing some personal favorite recipes – some new to us and a few oldies, but goodies.
Today, I have a super exciting collaboration. I recently got a tour of the Whole Foods store in Albany. While I’ve been to that store (and a few of their other locations), I learned so much about Whole Foods and spoke with some of the awesome folks who work there. I was super impressed with the level of thought that goes into the quality of everything that they carry, and I even learned about some other local brands that I’d never heard of before – including pressed juices from Red Jacket Orchards in Geneva, N.Y.
What I really took away from my trip to Whole Foods was that great food starts with great ingredients, which is also kind of the philosophy behind Christen in the Kitchen. It’s all about using some simple, stand-out ingredients to make something amazing. So take a trip to Whole Foods and find some great products. If you can’t cook, just take a swing through their delicious bakery and bring dessert to Thanksgiving!
I love gratins and they’re perfect for the holidays. They’re a fair amount of effort, but they can be prepared ahead of time and reheated when its time for dinner. This is also a fancy way to integrate some greens (yes, slathered in cheese, butter and cream) into your holiday meal. Also a huge bonus, this is very portable! A lot of us (including myself) travel to someone else’s house for dinner, and this is perfect to make ahead and reheat when you arrive!
Read on for the recipe and stay tuned for another delicious Thanksgiving recipe tomorrow!
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 pounds kale, (discard the big middle vein and chop the kale leaves into 1/2 inch pieces)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/8 inch rounds
- 1 tsp. dried thyme (use 1 tbsp. if you have fresh)
- salt and pepper
- 5 oz. coarsely grated Gruyére cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Cook onion in 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet for until softened. Add the kale leaves, salt and pepper and cook until it starts to soften. Turn off the heat and set the skillet aside.
- In a small saucepan, heat the cream and garlic until it starts to simmer. Turn to low and keep warm.
- In another saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add in the 2 tablespoons of flour. Cook the roux until the mixture starts to brown. Add some salt and pepper. Pour in the warm cream and stir until the whole mixture begins to thicken. Add the thyme and stir a bit more. Set aside.
- Butter a 9 x 13 casserole dish and line the bottom with a layer of sweet potato rounds (half of what you sliced). Crack some pepper over the potatoes. Add half of the kale mixture and sprinkle 1/4 cup of the Gruyere cheese. Pour half of the bechamel sauce over the top of everything.
- Add the remaining sweet potato slices over the top of everything. Add more cracked pepper, the rest of the kale and another 1/4 cup of cheese.
- Pour the rest of the sauce all over the top of everything. Press everything down into the pan and make sure the bechamel is covering as much as possible. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
- Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are very tender and the sauce is bubbling.
- If your kale is really wet, wring it out with a paper towel. You want to avoid putting too much moisture into the gratin.