Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Top Chef Thanksgiving: Recipe du Jour

Top Chef Season 1 cheftestant Andrea Beaman's Quinoa Pilaf and Curried Sweet Potato Mash (side)


2 large sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
1 teaspoon mild curry powder
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste

1 1/3 cups quinoa
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 medium leek, cleaned and diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 vegetarian sausage links, diced
4 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage, plus sage leaves for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dried cranberries


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes. Put the sweet potato cubes in a large bowl and coat with the oil. Add the curry powder and salt to taste. Place in a greased baking pan, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 50 minutes, or until softened. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.

Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and transfer to a food processor. Add the butter and lemon juice and process until smooth.

While the sweet potatoes are roasting, rinse the quinoa until the water runs clear. Put the quinoa in a medium pot over medium heat and add 2 cups of boiling water. Add salt to taste, then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and cook for about 18 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the spiral germ separates from the grain. Set aside for 5 minutes, and then fluff the quinoa with a fork. Transfer to a large bowl.

In a medium sauté pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, leek, and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the sausage, mushrooms, sage, and salt and pepper to taste and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the sausage is cooked through and the mushrooms have softened. Add the cooked vegetables and dried cranberries to the quinoa and stir to combine.

Spoon the quinoa onto serving plates, along with the mashed sweet potatoes, and garnish with the sage leaves. Serve immediately.

©Andrea Beaman

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