On a Monday: Sweet potato and peanut gratin
Approx Cost: £5.96
As much as Hugh gets excited about chomping down on his vegetables EVERYDAY! after excitedly purchasing and leafing through, I myself, was rather underwhelmed. I’d been having spasms of guilt that about my excessive carnivorous nature of late and this happened to coincide with the release of Hugh’s new book (and new hairdo apparently).
After recieving the book I excitedly looked through and discovered it all looked a bit, well, like side dishes…to MEAT, glorious glorious MEAT! As such, I hadn’t come across anything I had wanted to try yet, always plumping for some fish and greens combo or juicy pork and roast veg, see Hugh, i’m still eating them! I managed a whole three weeks off meat (not fish) in November, and not once did I reach for this book.
I couldn’t get hold of my internet shopping till tomorrow so had to work with what I had in, and that happened to be an excess of vegetables. “Right Hugh” I muttered. “I’M COMING FOR YOU!”. This sweet potato gratin popped off the page, I had every ingredient and all you had to do was bung it together and stick it in the oven.
The slicing was a bit of a pain, but Hugh tells me I don’t have to arrange them like dauphinoise so I relax a little. I combine the potato with double cream (i know i know, supposed to be watching the waistline), chilli, garlic, and some seasoning. The hero of the dish though was the whisked up middle layer of peanut butter, lime and olive oil.
Half the potatoes get layered, then you dollop the peanut butter mixture over, then top with the remaining potatoes. Stick it in the oven covered first, then uncovered to start crisping up. I gave it a little time under the grill to really get it crunchy but gave up too soon because I was so hungry. Could really have used a little more time. The smell from the oven was deliciously sweet and I couldn’t wait to start.
After delving in head first, my original thought still applied. This still didn’t feel like a main meal to me, it was too sweet to eat on its own. Hugh suggests a nice leafy salad, I agree, but maybe something peppery. Or, you could just have a smaller portion and have on the side of something else, oh, I don’t know, maybe some nice succulent roast pork?! The recipe declares it serves 4, however i’d go as far as to say serve this to 6 people, as a side, because everyone will love it in small doses, plus it was really inexpensive to produce.
Although the lime and chilli cut through the sweetness of the potato, it still isnt enough to balance the dish and I felt a tad queasy upon finishing my portion. The gent had his with curly kale later that night, which is what I should have done really, his review “its nice”, maybe I should get him to do a guest blog with that kind of insight?
All in all, I’d probably bake this again, but probably only when i’ve got too many sweet potatoes left over and no-one fancies mash.