FOOD & WINE's Gail Simmons shares her reason for cooking, "to bring us together," for the Swanson® Why I Cook campaign. Here, see how she makes her Sweet Potato Gratin with Shallots & Thyme.Gail Simmons prepares Sweet Potato Gratin with Shallots & Thyme.
[MUSIC] I'm Gail Simmons. People always ask me why do I cook. I cook because it remains one of the most important activities that brings us together. Whether cooking with friends or making a decadent meal for a romantic night in or spending simple quality family time in the kitchen. Cooking has a magical way of uniting us all. Now that the holiday season is here I love cooking dishes that are served family style. Not only is a great way to cook and serve, but I find it such a fun way to entertain. Today, I"ll be making sweet potato gratin with shallots and thyme. I love this dish, because it's delicious, and after prepping it, it goes right in the oven, leaving me time to spend with family and friends. I love the way that the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes is complemented by the perfectly balanced flavor of the Swanson chicken broth. To start, preheat your oven to 375. Then, slice your sweet potatoes into very thin rounds. Thinly slice two large shallots. Place them in a pan with a little butter and saute them till they're just soft and starting to brown. Brush a tablespoon or two of melted butter into your [UNKNOWN] dish to coat all sides, and of course the bottom. Then start layering your sweet potato rounds into the dish. I do one or two layers slightly overlapping and really tightly together. Take some of those shallots. Sprinkle them on top. And tease them with a little bit of salt and pepper. Then repeat another layer, finishing with the shallots, the salt and pepper until you've filled up the entire Mix together your Swanson chicken broth, cream, fresh picked thyme and a little bit of cayenne, depending on how spicy you want it. I like to use Swanson chicken broth because I trust this. It's made from high quality ingredients and has the perfect balance of flavor. Pour your broth mixture right on top, making sure to get all the corners. Cover it tightly with foil, Put it in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Make a mixture of panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and melted butter. Take it out of the oven, remove the foil, and sprinkle your bread crumb mixture evenly over the entire top of the gratin. Put it bake in the oven and bake uncovered for 40 minutes or until all of the potatoes are tender. Take it out of the oven and let it sit for about ten minutes. and it's ready to serve. [MUSIC]