Saturday, January 5, 2013

Mexican Sweet Potato Gratin & a Haircut! GF, V, MD!

Well some exciting news today …
I got a haircut!!! My curls are back in action!
And…my business cards came!! The font could have been a little bigger, but ehh – oh well:)
Today was a particularly fun day. Not only did I get pampered at the amazing Devachan Salon – which is an amazing “curls-only” salon, but I got to see one of my best friends who visiting NYC! She and her mom stopped by my place for a little while. It was SO good to see them!! :D
So tonight, I thought I’d share another favorite from the archives. (Why is it that ALL the archive recipes are favorites?) haha
Mexican Sweet Potato Gratin!!
Layers of sweet and spicy sweet potatoes, topped with cool and creamy guacamole!
And it’s Gluten Free, Vegan, and Maker’s Diet friendly! For a Body Ecology Diet substitution, use Red Skinned Potatoes! :D
With this gratin, I served “un-fried” black beans – also incredible:)
Here’s what you need: (Serves 4)
2 Sweet Potatoes (long and thin)
1 tsp EVOO
Spice Mix:
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
Dash cayenne pepper (only add if you like heat!)
Preheat your oven to 350. Using a mandolin, carefully slice your SPs into about 1/4 inch rounds. Not paper-thin, but thin-ish. I used the 2nd setting on the mandolin.  In a bowl, toss your rounds with the EVOO and about 1 1/2 Tbsp of the spice mix. Then, in a oven-safe, non-stick pan, arrange your rounds overlapping, starting on the rim and spiraling in towards the center. After you have this layer, spray it w/ EVOO and then make another layer. Repeat, spraying after each layer until your potatoes run out — I made 3 layers.
Delight in its beauty, and then, put it on the stove over low heat for about 5-6 minutes.  You’ll hear the bottom layer start to sizzle, but that’s ok! Don’t touch it! It’s forming a beautiful crust. After you hear this sizzle, put it in the oven. After about 10 minutes, turn up the oven to 400 for 5 minutes, and then turn it back down to 350, and allow it to cook for about 5 more minutes. Make sure the potatoes are fork tender.  You will notice that it has sort of, “shrunk” — and that’s great!
flipped out!
Let the pan cool for about 10 minutes, and then flip it onto another plate. Confidence is key here for a clean flip — place the plate upside-down on the pan, and then in one big swoop, flip it! You now have a GORGEOUS sweet potato gratin!
amazing caramelized sweet potatoes!
look at those layers!
Next, the “Un-Fried” Black Beans.
1/2 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup veg stock
juice and zest of 1/2 lime
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp spice mix (see above)
handful chopped cilantro
Saute the onion and garlic for 5 minutes with the spices. Add in the black beans and mix for a minute.  Then, mash with a potato masher and stir in the veg stock. Let that evaporate. Before serving, stir in the lime juice, zest, and cilantro. Yum!
Next: Guacamole
1 avocado
1 Tbsp minced red onion
squeeze of lime
1 small garlic clove, grated
1/2 small tomato, seeded and diced small (BED omit)
handful chopped cilantro
Mash avocado with salt and lime juice. Stir everything but the tomatoes in, and then gently fold in the tomatoes. Refrigerate. Delish.
This meal was a show stopper. First of all, the presentation was beautiful. You eat with your eyes first, so the plate should look appealing. And boy, this one sure did! There were so many beautiful colors! The burnt orange sweet potatoes, lemony green avocado, bright red tomatoes, and black beans. Dramatic -– let me tell ya.
Finally, the flavors just burst in your mouth! The spice mix in the gratin brings such a spicy-heat that is complemented so well by the caramelized sweet potatoes. They have this beautiful crust on both the top and bottom that have a sweet, smokey, sticky, caramelization. The beans are spicy and fresh with the cilantro. Finally, to round it all out, the guacamole is cooling, creamy, and rich!
Do you like getting your haircut, or is it a hassle?
Until tomorrow!
Need a mandoline? Here's the one I use:

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