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Lunch & Dinner Mains

Instant Pot Za'atar Chicken Thighs with Sweetpotatoes, Kale, and Sorghum

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Instant Pot Za'atar Chicken Thighs with Sweetpotatoes, Kale, and Sorghum

Za'atar Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potatoes, Kale, and Sorghum.jpg

Instant Pot Za'atar Chicken Thighs with Sweetpotatoes, Kale, and Sorghum

Serves 6

Ingredients:
6 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
1 tablespoon za’atar (see notes)
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 cups diced orange- or yellow-fleshed sweetpotatoes
1 cup peeled, diced apple
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup whole grain sorghum (see notes)
1 cup water
2 cups packed chopped kale

Instructions:

  1. Sprinkle the chicken with the za’atar, salt, and pepper.

  2. In an instant pot on the sauté setting, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the chicken skin side down and cook until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the chicken and brown the other side, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

  3. Warm the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the pot. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the lemon juice and oregano and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the sweetpotatoes, apple, broth, sorghum, water, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Arrange the chicken, skin side up, on top of the mixture. Secure the lid, making sure that the steam vent is closed. Switch to the pressure cooker setting and cook for 20 minutes.

  4. Release the steam valve and open the lid. Remove the chicken and set it aside. Stir the kale into the mixture in the instant pot.

  5. Arrange the sweetpotato and sorghum mixture on plates or a platter, top with the chicken, and serve.

Notes: Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend. Look for it in the spice section of your supermarket and at gourmet food stores.

For tips on buying and cooking with sorghum, visit www.simplysorghum.com.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Simply Sorghum

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Sweetpotato, Sorghum, and Pomegranate Salad

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Sweetpotato, Sorghum, and Pomegranate Salad

Sorghum, Sweetpotato, and Pomegranate Salad.jpg

Sweetpotato, Sorghum, and Pomegranate Salad

Serves 6

Ingredients:

For the dressing:
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 
2 teaspoons sorghum syrup (see notes)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil

For the sweetpotatoes:
3 pounds orange- or yellow-fleshed sweet potatoes, diced 
2 teaspoons olive oil or coconut oil 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the candied walnuts:
1 tablespoon sorghum syrup or maple syrup (see notes)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pound walnut halves

For the salad:
1 bunch kale 
3 cups cooked whole grain sorghum (see notes)
1 small red onion, quartered 
3 tablespoons hemp seeds 
1 cup pomegranate arils

Instructions:

  1. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, syrup, ginger, cinnamon, and garlic. Whisk in the oil and set aside.

  2. Make the sweetpotatoes: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sweetpotatoes, oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Turn the sweetpotatoes and continue to bake until lightly brown and tender. Set aside to cool.

  4. Make the candied walnuts: Reduce the oven to 350°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment.

  5. In a medium bowl, combine the syrup, oil, cinnamon, and ginger, stirring to mix well. Chop half of the walnuts, then add the chopped walnuts and walnut halves to the syrup mixture, stirring gently until thoroughly coated. Arrange the walnut mixture on the prepared baking sheet and bake until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.

  6. Make the salad: In a large bowl, combine the kale with 3/4 of the dressing, using your hands to massage the dressing into the kale. Add the sorghum, onion, hemp seeds, pomegranate arils, sweetpotatoes, and 1/2 cup of the walnuts. Transfer to a serving bowl or plates, sprinkle with more walnuts, and serve.

Notes: For tips on buying and cooking with sorghum and sorghum syrup, visit www.simplysorghum.com.

To switch things up, try pumpkin seeds instead of walnuts or dried cranberries instead of pomegranate arils.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Simply Sorghum

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Grilled Lamb and Sweetpotato Kabobs with Quinoa, Garlic, Lemon, and Mint

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Grilled Lamb and Sweetpotato Kabobs with Quinoa, Garlic, Lemon, and Mint

Lamb has a natural sweetness that makes it a perfect pairing for sweetpotatoes. For example, we love baked sweetpotatoes with broiled lamb chops and grilled sweetpotato wedges with lamburgers. And we bet you would, too.

Here, we take the combo to new heights, adding lemon, olive oil, tons of garlic, and fresh mint. Great for a weekend barbeque with friends or a weeknight dinner with family, it’s all good.

Grilled Lamb and Sweetpotato Kabobs with Quinoa, Garlic, Lemon, and Mint

Grilled Lamb and Sweetpotato Kabobs with Quinoa, Garlic, Lemon, and Mint

Serves 6

Ingredients:
3 lemons
12 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided, plus more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, divided, plus more to taste
3/4 cup olive oil
1 boneless leg of lamb (about 3 pounds), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 pounds orange- or yellow-fleshed sweetpotatoes, or a combination, cut into 1-inch dice
1 cup quinoa
3/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

Special equipment: about 18 10-inch metal skewers (see note)

Instructions:

  1. Zest the lemons. Juice the zested lemons to yield 6 tablespoons of juice. In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 3/4 teaspoon of the pepper, whisking to dissolve the salt. Whisk in the oil. Set aside 2/3 cup of the mixture, then transfer the remaining mixture to a large resealable bag and add the lamb and sweetpotatoes. Seal the bag, squeezing out as much air as possible, and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for as long as overnight. (If refrigerated, return to room temperature before proceeding.)
  2. Cook the quinoa according to package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat a grill to medium heat and lightly oil the grate. Thread the lamb and sweetpotatoes onto skewers (discard the marinade). Sprinkle the skewers on all sides with the remaining 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 3/4 teaspoon of pepper. Grill the skewers, turning on all sides, until the lamb is done to your liking and the sweetpotatoes are lightly charred and tender, about 15 minutes for medium-rare.
  4. Stir the tomatoes, scallions, about half of the mint, and about 2/3 of the remaining lemon mixture into the quinoa. Arrange the quinoa on plates or a platter and top with the skewers. Drizzle with the remaining lemon mixture, sprinkle with the remaining mint, and serve.
  5. Note: It’s easiest to thread sweetpotatoes onto metal skewers. If you prefer to use wood or bamboo, try “pre-drilling” the sweetpotatoes with a metal skewer or something similar. (And as always, soak wood or bamboo skewers in water at least 10 minutes before using them on the grill.)

Recipe developed in partnership with the California Sheep Commission

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Sweetpotato “Big Macs”

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Sweetpotato “Big Macs”

Reprinted from “Sweet Potatoes: Roasted, Loaded, Fried, and Made into Pie,” by Mary-Frances Heck (Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2017)

As a kid, I loved the classic Big Mac, and I still occasionally get a taste-memory craving for it. But, as an adult, I really don’t like the low-quality meat that’s part of the original package, so I recreated the sandwich at home, replacing the meat with crispy sweetpotato patties which go remarkably well with the tangy sauce, crunchy pickles, onions, iceberg lettuce, and American cheese, all on a sesame seed bun.

Sweet Potato Big Macs

Sweetpotato “Big Macs”

Makes 4 burgers

Ingredients:
2 large sweetpotatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed
4 sesame seed burger buns, plus 4 additional bottom buns
Burger Sauce (recipe follows)
1/4 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
24 dill pickle chips
4 slices American cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced onion or shallot

Instructions:

  1. Grate the sweetpotatoes on a box grater into a larger bowl. Season with the salt and pepper.

  2. Heat the oil to a depth of 1/4 inch in a large, nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Line a plate with brown paper or paper towels. When the oil shimmers, add 2 or 3 handfuls (about 1/2 cup each) of sweetpotato to the skillet in compact mounds. Let the sweetpotatoes fry into a patty, like a hash brown or latke, for about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until the patties are crispy, 2 more minutes. Drain the patties on the brown paper. Replenish the oil as needed to maintain a depth of 1/4 inch. Repeat with the remaining sweetpotatoes until you have 8 patties.

  3. Toast the buns. Line up the 8 bottom buns on a work surface. Spread 1 tablespoon of burger sauce on each and then top with shredded lettuce and pickle chips. Place a slice of cheese on half (4) of the bottom buns and add a patty on all of them. Top the patties with the onions, stack the burgers, and add the top buns.

Tip: The patties can be made up to 1 hour ahead; reheat them in a 400°F oven until hot and crispy, about 5 minutes.

Burger Sauce

Makes 1/2 cup (enough for 4 burgers)

1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
1 teaspoon pickle juice
1/2 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons chopped dill pickles
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 teaspoon paprika

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, pickle juice, honey, pickles, garlic, and paprika until smooth. The sauce will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Copyright © 2017 by Mary-Frances Heck. Photograph by Kristin Teig. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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