Sweet Potatoes Irma

Updated: Apr 27

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.



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