Easy Cazuela Cooking

Fall has finally arrived here in Santa Fe and winter is peeking around the corner. Not to mention that Thanksgiving is waiting in the weeds right in front of us.  To counter my time-consuming recipe for duck confit in my last post, I will offer up a super simple recipe to address the upcoming holidays and our long winter ahead.

I am originally from the upper Midwest, Michigan.  Folks from those parts love their creamy dishes with plenty of carbs in the mix.  My recipe for scalloped sweet potatoes with Spanish smokey paprika satisfies my Midwest heritage and my cravings for Spanish flavors.  With a simple combination of sweet potatoes, heavy cream, and smokey paprika life seems to be in balance.

For the recipe I used my 11″ inch cazuela with a lid.  Three sweet potatoes peeled and sliced about as thick as a quarter, two cups cream, 2 tsp of hot smoked paprika, and salt & pepper to taste.  For  my potato slicing I used a mandolin slicer, you could also use a nice sharp knife.  Whisk the paprika and cream together with your salt and pepper.  Cover the bottom of your pan with three tbsp of the cream mixture.  Next put down a layer of sliced sweet potatoes and then three more tbsp of heavy cream mixture.  Continue the layering process until all of you potatoes are gone.  I usually end with some left over cream mixture after my layering.  Just pour the remainder of your mixture over the top of the sweet potatoes.   Cover your cazuela with the lid and bake for thirty minutes in an oven of 375 degrees.  After thirty minutes remove the lid and continue baking for another 45 minutes or until the top of the potatoes have started to brown up nicely.

This dish makes a wonderful side or it can be featured as more of a main entree.  Having a nice salad of greens with marcona almonds, dried cherries dressed with olive oil and lemon juice pairs well.  It does not hurt to have some good crusty bread on hand to round things out.  I just might add some duck confit to that salad while I am at it.

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