Monday, February 21, 2011

What's for Dinner?

The first recipe I tried this week was one my friend Suzanne found in Moosewood Cookbook and raved about.  I'm always looking for one-dish meals that aren't loaded with cream or cheese.  This one has super healthy ingredients and with the combination of spices and coconut milk and lime, your house will smell amazing while it's cooking.

Indian Sweet Potato Gratin:  (thank you Suzanne!)

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 (remember to do this ahead of time!)
1 1/2 cup (15 oz can) black beans, drained
1 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach (or stemmed and chopped leaf spinach)

*One batch would be a can and a half of coconut milk, but I was making two batches and used an even 3 cans.

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

DIRECTIONS:  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.

coconut milk plus lime zest and lime juice.  zesting the limes was the only real time consuming part of the recipe.
adding in all the pretty spices.
 Poor 1/3 of the coconut milk-spice mixture 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.  I baked this one in a cardboard pan because I was bringing dinner to a friend.

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.  (mine took a little longer than 90 minutes for the top layer of sweet potatoes to get soft.

This tasted so good and had such a nice flavor.  The cornmeal topping adding a cool almost-crunchy element.  I think it will be one of those meals that tastes even better the second night when the flavors have a chance to hang out all day in the fridge.

As always, I love hearing from you when you try these recipes out and anything you learned or changed along the way.  Happy Cooking!


Kim Oldenburgh said...

I'm making this today. Just need some limes. Is it OK to use coconut milk from a carton and not a can? Is that the same thing or is the can concentrated like evaporated milk? I might steam the sweet potato for a little bit first for faster oven time. I'll let you know how it comes out! Hope you're having a great week off.

Emilie said...

Kim, I'm not sure about the coconut milk out of the carton because the canned stuff is stronger in flavor and thicker (I think). But, give it a shot!

Hope you are having a great break too!

Kim Oldenburgh said...

It came out great with the coconut milk in a carton! I did steam the potatoes for about 10 minutes. Took about 80 minutes to cook. I'd highly recommend covering it last 1/2 hour. I didn't and my rice was a little bit crispy-but still good!