On Thanksgiving, the turkey gets all the love. It isn’t like I don’t understand why. The bird is the word, and oh is it good. But there is something about those sides that accompany the turkey that really make the holiday special.
For my family, those sides usually include my auntie Rose’s cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, greens, green beans, candied sweet potatoes, and my mama’s baked macaroni and cheese (and way more than I can name here without writing the longest post in history). This year, I’m adding this Potato and Squash Gratin from the New Prairie Kitchen Cookbook by Summer Miller to the fold, and I have a feeling it will be right at home.
First of all, this book is really a classic in the making. I love cookbooks like this that share a myriad of experiences and flavors from the region it beautifully represents. The Great Plains states aren’t the ones most foodies find themselves talking about visiting but they should be. From reading this book, I can truly tell you that I am inspired to visit and take in the resources of the area and creations of the chefs.
The book is broken down by seasons so I found myself immediately drawn to the fall and winter sections. When I saw the Potato and Squash Gratin recipe, I knew I needed to make it (as soon as humanly possible). The recipe comes from Jason Simon of Alba, a contemporary American cuisine restaurant in Des Moines, IA. It has very few ingredients (it doesn’t even require salt or pepper though I added a tiny bit of pepper along with thyme to the top) but packs a lovely flavor punch. For three days, I ate this Potato and Squash Gratin recipe as a meal until it was all gone. It was creamy and perfectly seasoned. The sweetness of the honey and butternut squash married so well with the cream, cheese and potatoes. The flavor, along with the minimalist approach, proved to make this the perfect side dish I knew everyone would love to try for the holidays.
So because I love you and I want your Thanksgiving to be absolutely perfect, I’m sharing the Potato and Squash Gratin recipe from the book here. I’m also giving away a copy of New Prairie Kitchen courtesy of my publisher Agate Publishing. However I suggest that you really just pick up a copy of this book because it is so so wonderful (its available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and you can also find it at your local independent bookstore here on Indiebound).
For the giveaway. enter below and get ready for a cooking course and lesson in all the food wonders of the Great Plains.
Potato and Squash Gratin
- 2 tablespoons butter plus more for greasing
- 3 Yukon gold potatoes
- ½ butternut squash
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 large egg yolks
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease the inside of an 8 × 8-inch baking dish with butter.
- Wash and peel the potatoes, reserving the peels. Set aside.
- Wash the squash. Remove and discard 1 inch off the top and the bottom. Using a vegetable peeler, and working away from yourself, peel the squash until you reach the deep-orange flesh. Remove and discard the seeds, but reserve the peels. Set aside.
- Fill a large bowl with cold water and set nearby. Using a mandoline slicer, slice the potatoes and squash paper thin, then transfer the slices to the bowl of water.
- In a large pot, heat the cream, honey, soy sauce, and reserved squash and potato peels over medium heat and cook until the liquid has reduced by ⅓, about 30 minutes. Add the butter. Pour the mixture into a blender and blend until smooth.
- In a bowl large enough to hold the cream mixture, place the egg yolks. Whisk the yolks continuously while slowly pouring the warm liquid into the bowl. The goal is to temper, not cook, the eggs.
- In the prepared baking dish, place the potatoes and squash in alternating layers (potato, then squash, then potato, and so on), slightly overlapping each layer. Once a layer is finished, add just enough of the cream mixture to cover the vegetables. Repeat this process until all of the vegetables are used. Place the baking dish on top of a baking sheet to catch drips. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven, remove the foil, and top with the parmesan cheese. Change the oven setting to broil. Cook under the broiler for another 5 to 7 minutes, until the cheese is browned on top.
- Remove from the oven. Let the gratin rest for about 15 minutes before serving.
Reprinted with permission from New Prairie Kitchen by Summer Miller, Agate Midway, 2015.