Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sweet Potato & Choriquo Gratin

I am very excited to announce my very first Wilde in the Kitchen Bake Sale! But I need your help! In June, less than six weeks away, I will be participating in Relay for Life out here on Long Island. For those of you who don't know exactly what the event entails, here is the description straight from the American Cancer Society.

Relay For Life is a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease.


At Relay, teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Because cancer never sleeps, Relays are overnight events up to 24 hours in length. Relayers do not have to walk all night, but each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event.

The event begins with a lap completed by cancer survivors, showing their victory over cancer. The caregivers then join in the next lap, showing their support for those who have battled cancer. Finally, the remaining walkers join the track and start the relay. As daytime passes into night, luminaria bags are lit to commemorate those who have lost their fight to cancer. The relayers then walk through the night with the light of those now gone guiding them around the loop.


Our Relay will take place from 6 pm until 6 am the next day and our team will be camping out at the local college. I will be relaying with several of my work colleagues! Being a newer member of my company, I'm looking forward to not only raising money for ACS, walking with survivors, but also getting to know some of my coworkers a little better.

Now I need your help! May 17-18 will be the Wilde in the Kitchen Bake Sale for Relay! I'll be putting up several candy confections to help raise money for Relay and am looking for people to join in the bake sale!

How does it work?  Don't worry, I do all the heavy lifting!  You provide an image and web address for whatever baked good you would like to donate to the bake sale.  People bid on the items by e-mailing me with their bids.  Once the bake sale closes, the baked goods go to the highest bidder!  Here's where your work comes in...  Within a week, you just have to bake your item and mail it to the winner!

What would be a good item for the bake sale?  Anything that ships well, is delicious and is something that you love.  Cookies & Bars ship really well.  I'll be making several different candy recipes to contribute to the sale.  Marshmallows are their own packing material!

Do you have a little extra time in your week to whip up something sweet and delicious? Send me an e-mail at wildeinthekitchen (at) hotmail (dot) com and let me know!

As a thanks for your help and kindness, I've made you dinner. Kinda. In order to prepare for an all-night relay walk I think my team is going to need some carbs. So make yourself this spicy gratin and leaf through your dessert cookbooks!

One Year Ago: Mango-Lime Muffins

Sweet Potato & Choriquo Gratin
Adapted from Bluephies New American Cookbook

If you can't find any choriquo in your local grocery store (I found mine by mistake actually) then feel free to use any spicy smoked sausge! Chorizo (Spanish sausage) would also be delicious (as it was exactly what I was looking for the begin with). Be sure to distribute the chipotle peppers evenly over the gratin. Otherwise you'll have someone sitting next to you reaching for a tall glass of water!

3 white sweet potatoes, peeled & thinly sliced
2 russet potatoes, peeled & thinly sliced
2 links choriquo (portuguese sausage), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 cups shredded mozarella
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 eggs
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried thyme
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F and coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and choriquo. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is crispy. Remove from the heat and drain sausage on a paper towel.

Line the bottom of the baking dish with potatoes, mixing up the sweet potato and russet, slightly overlapping. Add 1/3 of the choriquo and top with 3/4 cup cheese. Add another layer of potato, sausage and cheese. Repeat, adding the remaining cheese to the top of the dish.

In a small bowl, whisk together heavy cream, eggs, thyme, oregano and chipotle peppers. Pour this mixture over the top of the potato dish. Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap, cover in aluminum foil.

Bake for 60 minutes before removing foil and plastic wrap. Bake for another 15 minutes to brown the top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before serving.
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