Updated: May 9, 2022
From "The Infinite Feast: How to Host the Ones You Love—Recipes from the Big Easy . . . and Beyond" by Brian Theis, 2020 Click here for more on my new cookbook!
I named this dish after Irma Thomas, "The Soul Queen of New Orleans," because it has a whole lot of spirit and a tender touch of sweet.
Sweet Potatoes Irma
Makes 8 servings
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 small onion, diced fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped fine
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 pint heavy cream (2 cups)
1/2 cup vegetable broth
3 large russet potatoes, sliced thin (do this when you need them so they don't go brown on you)
3 large sweet potatoes, sliced thin
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1 1/4 cup shredded Gruyère (about 1/3 pound)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with one tablespoon butter.
In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt two tablespoons butter. Add onion and garlic, cook till softened, 4 minutes. Add rosemary, brown sugar, nutmeg, cream, broth, 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Heat just to a boil, remove from heat.
Add a bit of cream mixture to dish. Over this, start with a single layer of potatoes then a single layer of sweet potatoes, then a layer of both cheeses, then a layer of cream mixture. Repeat, till you're all used up, making sure to end with a topping of cheese. Cover with foil and bake 1 hour or till potatoes are soft. Uncover for last 15 minutes of baking.