Sunday, November 27, 2011

Toasted Millet with Harissa and Sweet Potatoes

I got a pressure cooker as a wedding gift and was so excited when I got it, because I'd used one in an Indian cooking course I took with my mom and was so excited to be able to cook rice and beans quickly. But then I got scared of it. I was suddenly terrified that it would explode and beans and rice would go everywhere or I would get burned with scalding water or what have you. I know, I know. It happens, but rarely. And not with newer models so much. But still! Terrified. So it remained in my basement.

Well, I'm on a whole kick of making myself conquer fears and try new things as much as possible, so I decided that Tonight Is The Night I would try the pressure cooker. And you know what? Ridiculously easy. Ridiculous. This is wonderful because it means I can use it more. Hoorah! And it was exciting especially because the millet and sweet potatoes took all of 8 minutes to cook. Eight! Beautiful.

pressure

So on to the food. This was pretty good. Nothing special. More of just an exciting vehicle to try out the pressure cooker. I already had everything on hand so it made sense. Yes, I have harissa in the refrigerator, and yes, I have millet:

millet

I wouldn't make it again, but I enjoyed eating it. So there.

millet

Toasted Millet with Harissa and Sweet Potatoes
Vegetarian Times, Jan/Feb 2011

Harissa is a spicy red chile paste used to season North African dishes, such as couscous and tagines. Here, it adds gentle heat to a stew of millet, sweet potatoes, and spinach.

2 teaspoons olive oil
10 ounce container diced onions -- or 1 large onion, diced (2 cups)
1 1/2 cups millet
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 large sweet potato -- peeled and cubed (3 cups)
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 teaspoons harissa paste
5 ounce bag baby spinach -- leaves thinly sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1. To make Stew: Heat oil in pressure cooker over medium-high heat. Add onions, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until soft. Stir in millet, cumin, turmeric, and coriander, and cook 3 minutes more, stirring constantly. Add sweet potato, broth, and harissa.

2. Close pressure cooker, and bring up to high pressure. Cook 9 minutes.

3. Release pressure with quick-release button, or transfer pressure cooker to sink, and run cool water over rim to release pressure.

4. To make Vinaigrette: whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, oil, maple syrup, and lemon zest in small bowl. Stir spinach and Vinaigrette ?into millet mixture until spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Servings: 6

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