I think we're gathering with friends this year for Thanksgiving, so I'm starting to think about the various fabulous sides and desserts I can bring. This one has been a family tradition on my side of the family for over a decade now, I think: I just tracked it down in an email from 1999, at which point we'd been making it for a while. It is for those people who prefer their sweet potatoes savory--I have another terrific sweet potato recipe for a more dessert-like concoction--and it does take some time, but it's well worth it. Here it is:
Sweet Potatoes Anna
5 sweet potatoes, peeled
2 leeks, whites only
6 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375. Slice potatoes very thinly (1/8"); cut leeks in half lengthwise and slice those thinly as well. Butter a round, shallow 10" baking dish. Arrange a layer of potato slices in the pan in overlapping circles. Brush with 1/4 of the melted butter, top with half the leeks & thyme, s&p. Repeat with another layer of potatoes, the remaining leeks & thyme, then a final layer of potatoes. Brush the top layer with melted butter. (Yes, you are using a lot of butter. It's worth it.) Cover the pan with foil, and weight it with a heavy skillet to bake for 30 minutes. Remove the skillet & foil, baste with the remaining butter, and bake uncovered for another 30 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes and then turn out of the baking dish onto a plate before serving, and prepare for compliments.