Friday, February 20, 2015


~ Naturally Ella

1 T. olive oil
1/2 c. diced red onion
1 1/2 c. cubed sweet potatoes, about 1/4" cubes
1 chipotle
2 T. adobo sauce
1 T. honey
juice from one lime
1/2 c. black beans, drained and rinsed if using canned

3 c. grated cheddar
1 1/2 T. cornstarch
6 T. - 3/4 c. milk, 2% or whole only
3/4 t. smoked paprika
3/4 t. garlic powder

1 c. cilantro
1 clove garlic
zest from one lime

6-8 servings of tortilla chips
lime wedges, optional

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add onions and cook 3-4 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add sweet potatoes and cook another 3-4 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the chipotle, adobo sauce, honey, and lime juice in a mortar and pestle. Break the chipotle into small pieces. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, like yours truly, then just finely chop the chipotle and mix it with the other ingredients. Pour the chipotle mixture into the skillet with the sweet potatoes and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until sweet potatoes have softened, about 15 minutes. Stir in black beans and cook until warm.

While the sweet potatoes are cooking, prepare the cheese sauce and gremolata. To make the cheese sauce, combine the cheddar and cornstarch in an small pot over medium heat, stirring until the cheese begins to melt. Add 6 tablespoons of milk, along with all of the paprika and garlic powder, then stir until mixture pulls together. Add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of milk at a time until sauce has reached a pourable consistency.

To make the gremolata, finely chop the cilantro leaves and put in a bowl. Grate the garlic and lime zest on a microplane, or the fine side of a metal box grater like I do, and mix with cilantro. Put 3/4 of the gremolata into the skillet with the sweet potatoes and stir until combined, reserving the remaining 1/4 of the mixture.

Spread half of the chips on a serving platter and drizzle half of the cheese sauce over it, then top with half of the sweet potato mixture. Repeat layers, then garnish with remaining gremolata. Serve hot with a plate of lime wedges, if desired.

Notes: These nachos are amazingly scrumptious! One of the little Ws said this is the best way they've ever had sweet potatoes and Tim said I'd outdone myself when he tried them for the first time. 

I use yellow onions, crockpot beans, and regular paprika, as I always have them handy, and just do one layer of everything because it's easier that way. I've made it all at once and also pre-made the sweet potato mixture to freeze for future meals. Both ways work great. I double the recipe for our family of six and serve it in an 11x17-inch pan.

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