This post is part of “The Art of Cheese”, a partnership between Honest Cooking and Castello Cheese.
Sweet potatoes, spicy chili flakes, and caramel notes from baked Aged Havarti cheese makes this a holiday, and beyond, dish to heap onto your plate before it is gone.
By Asha Pagdiwalla
I am sure, you are already planning your menus for Christmas and days around it. Today, I want to make a small suggestion. I merely want to throw in my two-pence if there is a wee bit of space on your table yet.
You see, the reason, I insist is this.
I first made this humble dish for a summer barbecue a couple of months ago. Wait, don’t go away. It is not about summer. It’s about the dish.. Really. So anyway, it was a small part of a large table but somehow over the course of the few hours, it seemed to slowly swell in size to occupy rather the main stage of the table.
I was fascinated by this almost sorcerous leap to center piece. As the cook, I shrugged off, any ‘magic’ in all this and simply basked in the glory, of satisfied diners. But, it haunted me. I wanted to see if it was just a alcohol induced hallucination. So, second go it was.
You see, it happened again. Somehow, it managed to steal the spotlight again. This time, I was less self-absorbed and plain out asked what was so more-ish about the dish. As a cook, one is aware of the flavors and how they work. Yet, sometimes, the unexpected success needs some explanation.
Anyway, the resounding answer to the dish’s popularity was the unexpected spicy-sweet flavors in it. I had used aged Havarati Cheese by Castello which has a lovely rounded caramel notes that added a mellow sweetness. As fiery balance I had thrown in a few chili flakes. It was one of those commercial successes – you can never have just one (helping)!
Now, you must wonder about the title. The thing is this. Scalloped Potatoes are a perfect dish for your Holiday table as for the BBQ spread. It adds a lovely luscious note to the meal and makes a beautiful side whether you are serving ham or turkey or aubergine as the main.
- 6 medium to large sweet potatoes, sliced thin with skin
- 12 oz Castello Havarati Aged cheese, grated
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 6 T butter, melted and cooled
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp chili flakes, or more as desired
- olive oil, salt and pepper as needed
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Whisk together the cream, butter and egg. Season with salt and pepper.
- Prepare a baking tray large enough to hold all the potato in three to four layers.
- Spread olive oil on the bottom and slides, so the slices don't stick.
- Arrange one layer of sweet potatoes in an overlapping fashion.
- Pour about a third of the cream-butter mixture to wet the layer.
- Drizzle the chili flakes and then sprinkle grated cheese generously.
- Repeat for 2-3 more layers finishing with potatoes and no remaining cream.
- Prepare the final layer with sprinkled chili and remaining cheese.
- Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
- Increase heat to 400 F, remove cover and finish browning the top layer, about 10 minutes.
- Cool for a touch and serve.