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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Culinary Adventure for Kids, Part 1

You've asked for kid-friendly recipes with an ethnic flare.

We've accepted the challenge and offer an Iron Chef-like response. This entry is the first in a series of recipes that showcase: SWEET POTATOES. Each recipe in this series will have its own unique inspiration from a different region of the world.

We'll begin our quest with a North African twist on the sweet potato. Familiar flavors of cinnamon and raisins are accented with a hint of ginger. The sweet potato's creamy texture is contrasted by the crunch of toasted walnuts. This new combination of common ingredients may be the dish that inspires your kids to eat more adventurously. This dish is great over rice or couscous.

Moroccan-Style Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Raisins and Walnuts

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 medium onion, ends trimmed, peeled, halved lengthwise, then sliced thinly (1/8-1/4 in) from pole to pole
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 lb), peeled and cut into 1 in cubes
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup raisins
1 to 2 teaspoons honey or brown sugar
1/4 walnuts, chopped and toasted

Heat a large non-stick frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and cinnamon to the pan. 30 seconds later, add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and saute until the onions become translucent, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the sweet potatoes.

Saute for 5-7 minutes until the onions and sweet potatoes are golden brown in places. Add 3/4 cup water, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low, cover and let simmer for 6-8 mins until the sweet potatoes are tender and all the liquid has been absorbed. If the sweet potatoes are done but some liquid remains, cook uncovered for a minute or two to reduce. Serve hot with toasted walnuts on top.

Enjoy! More twists on the sweet potato to come.

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