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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

sweet potatoes reinvented

Got any of these ugly lovely veggies in your pantry that you don't know what to do with?

Well if you want to head to the store and get 10 new ingredients and plan to spend some time in the kitchen, have I got a recipe for you! (Or you could just slap them in the oven and bake them till they caramelize and ooze which is by far easier and incredibly yummy.)

Not a persuasive sell, huh?

Okay, let me try again.

Get ready for a new way to experience what some experts refer to at the "perfect food"  (we call it the p.f. in our house for short). Combining texture, flavor and a nutritional punch this dish is sweet potatoes Indian style.

Here is a recipe I adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook:

Indian Sweet Potato Gratin:

2 gloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lime peel
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4-1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4-1/2 teaspoon curry
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups coconut milk (you can use light or 1/2 light and 1/2 regular)
4 cups peeled, halved then thinly sliced sweet potato (1  1/2 lb)
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 1/2 cup (15 oz can) black beans, drained
1 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach (or stemmed and chopped leaf spinach)

3/4 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon curry
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.

Combine garlic, lime peel, lime juice, spices, salt and pepper with the coconut milk.  Poor 1/3 of it into baking pan.  Layer half of the sweet potatoes, topped by half the spinach, half the rice, then half the black beans.  Pour another 1/3 of the coconut milk mixture over that.  Repeat with the remaining sweet potatoes, spinach, rice and beans.  Pour the remaining coconut mixture over everything.

Combine the ingredients for the topping and sprinkle it over the gratin.

Bake for 90 minutes, covering the pan at 60 minutes if needed.  The sweet potatoes should be soft.  If they are not, bake until they are. 

Tips:  you will need to buy 2 cans of coconut milk- if you have any left over you can freeze it.  Also, don't feel pressure to use all the spices if you don't have them. I just like a lot of spice and flavor and had fun playing with it.  Use fresh lime juice if you can- it adds so much more flavor.

There is no picture because, frankly, it wasn't all that beautiful looking but it tasted incredible.  I swear it was worth all the chopping and kitchen mess.


Angela said...

My comment (to entice people to make this amazing dish) is going to be the text I sent you after having my second serving. And let it be stated that I also said this last night when we had it as a side dish with dinner...

"That casserole is seriously one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten"


Emilie said...

making it today!

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