Monday, October 5, 2009

caribbean sweet potato gratin

i love casseroles because they are an easy way to pack in a hearty meal with only a little bit of effort. i also like things that let me use some of our new kitchen toys. i decided to make this recipe from moosewood for those reasons and also because it's a little something unexpected from a gratin. sweet potatoes instead of regular ones, coconut milk instead of cream or cheese, lots of fresh spinach and a little bit of tang from the limes. delicious! note that the recipe calls for cooked rice so if you don't have any already made get that cooking first. i also chopped up the full bunch of spinach and used way more than called for.

caribbean sweet potato gratin
(from moosewood restaurant new classics)
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2 cups (20 oz) coconut milk
4 cups (about 1 1/2 pounds) sweet potatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup cooked rice
15 oz can black beans, drained
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach, thinly chopped
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt

preheat oven to 350 and lightly oil a 9x13 baking pan.

combine the garlic, lime zest and juice, cilantro, thyme, salt, pepper and coconut milk. pour one third of this mixture into the prepared baking pan. layer half of the sweet potatoes in the bottom, topped by half the rice, half of the beans and half of the spinach. pour on another third of the coconut milk mixture and repeat the layers of potatoes, rice, beans and spinach. pour the remaining coconut milk mixture over all.

in a small bowl combine all of the topping ingredients and sprinkle over gratin.

bake, uncovered for about 60 minutes, rotating the pan after 30 minutes. when the potatoes are tender and the topping is crisp and golden brown, remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes until the potatoes absorb any remaining liquid.


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