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Spicy Sweet Potato-and-Pancetta Gratin

Ingredients

1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp butter, softened
2 medium-size sweet potatoes, peeled
1 medium-size russet potato, peeled
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 oz. pancetta, diced
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup half and half
1 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp. Habanero Hot Sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400˚. Sprinkle garlic in bottom of a buttered 3-quart baking dish.
 
2. Cut the potatoes using a very sharp knife or a mandoline into 1/8-inch slices.
 
3. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add pancetta, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes or until crisp. Reserve pancetta. Wipe saucepan clean.
 
4. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth. (Do not brown flour.)
 
5. Add half and half, cream, 1 Tbsp. Habanero Hot Sauce, salt and pepper; cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.
 
6. Layer half of potato slices, shingle style, over garlic; top with half of pancetta and cream mixture. Repeat procedure with remaining potatoes, pancetta and cream mixture. Flatten potatoes with spatula.
 
7. Bake, covered, at 400˚ for 35 minutes.  Uncover, and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.  Let stand 15 minutes before serving.