Sweet Potato Aligot with Fried Sage
- 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
- Fine sea salt, as needed
- Grapeseed, olive, or sunflower oil, as needed
- 1 small bunch large sage leaves
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 spring fresh thyme or lemon thyme
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 garlic clove, finely grated or minced
- Large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 cups (8 ounces) grated Comté
- 5 ounces Saint-Nectaire or Tomme de Savoie cheese, rind removed, cubed
- Freshly ground pepper
- Put the sweet potatoes in a pot of heavily salted water, making sure they are covered by at least an inch of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes, but don’t wash out the pot; you’ll need it later.
- While the potatoes are boiling, fry the sage leaves; Line a plate with a paper towel. In a smaller skillet, heat ¼ inch of oil. Add the sage leaves, a few at a time, and fry until they are golden and crisp, usually 1 minute or so. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining sage leaves, adding more oil to the skillet if needed.
- In a small pot, bring the cream and the thyme sprig to a simmer over medium heat. Remove the pot from the heat, cover it, and set aside until needed.
- Transfer the cooked potatoes to a food processor and pulse until mashed. (Or you can pass the potatoes through a food mill or a large-mesh sieve to mash them.)
- Return the potatoes to the pot and set it over low heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir the butter, garlic, and nutmeg until the butter is melted.
- Remove the thyme spring from the cream. Stir the cream into the potatoes. Then stir in all the cheese a handful at a time, until the aligot is melted and stretchy. Season with more salt if needed and serve immediately, topped with the fried sage leaves and freshly ground pepper.
Classic Pommes Aligot
Use russet potatoes in place of sweet potatoes, increase the cream to ½ cup and eliminate sage leaves.
Reprinted from Dinner in French © 2020 by Katie Melissa Clark Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs by Ed Anderson. Photograph copyright © 2020 by Laura Edwards.