What's in a name?
Gratin Dauphinois, Pommes Anna, Au Gratin Potatoes, Scalloped Potatoes Au Gratin, and Scalloped Potatoes are all variations of basically the same thing; they're names of preparations for sliced potatoes baked in butter or cream, with or without cheese, garlic, herbs, and/or breadcrumbs. Although there are classic methods for each variation, the possibilities and combinations are endless.
I'm not much of a rule follower.
For a recent laid-back weeknight supper, I took a much simpler approach.
Sweet potatoes are...well...naturally sweet. While I adore the marshmallow-topped brown sugared sweet potato casseroles that dot our holiday tables, I tend to lean toward a more savory bent when preparing them at home. Balance.
Scalloped Sweet Potatoes, with a twist.
After drizzling a cup of heavy cream over the potatoes, I tapped the pan to evenly distribute the cream, covered it with foil, and slid it into a 350 oven to bake for 1 1/2 hours.
While the scalloped potatoes bubbled away, I soaked 1/3 cup of the dried sour cherries in equal portions of brandy and apple cider vinegar.
After an hour, I uncovered the potatoes for the remaining 30 minutes to brown the top. I drained the plumped sour cherries and used 3 tablespoons of the infused brandied vinegar to make a very basic vinaigrette ( 3 tablespoons vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper).
I pulled the gurgling scalloped potatoes from the oven to rest and tossed baby arugula in the sour cherry brandied vinaigrette with orange zest, slivered tomatoes, and the re-hydrated cherries.
Soft and creamy, the potato layers seemed to melt and fuse together in the buttery cream. While the bronzed parmigiano cheese crust provided slight salty nuttiness, the hidden cherries cut through the richness, adding tangy tart bites with contrasting textures.