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Sweet Potato Gratin with Chile-Spiced Pecans

Jose Garces says this dish best exemplifies his Thanksgiving menu: traditional at its core but with unexpected Latin accents. The gratin is silky and sweet, topped with gooey marshmallows and delightfully crunchy pecans flavored with chile powder.


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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 12

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  • 5 pounds sweet potatoes

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 cups pecans (8 ounces)

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

  • Kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 2 cups mini marshmallows


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Roast the sweet potatoes on a large baking sheet for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, in a skillet, melt the butter. Add the pecans, sugar and chipotle powder and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the sugar starts to caramelize and the pecans are well-coated, 8 minutes. Spread the pecans on a parchment-lined baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and let cool.
  3. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into the bowl of a food processor; discard the skins. Add the honey, cinnamon, allspice and cloves to the processor and puree. Add the cream and puree. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Scrape the potatoes into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; scatter the marshmallows on top. Bake in the top third of the oven for 25 minutes, until the marshmallows are golden. Sprinkle with the pecans and serve.

Make Ahead

The sweet potato puree can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature and top with the marshmallows before baking. The spiced nuts can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Contributed By Photo © Petrina Tinslay Published November 2008

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