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      RECIPE TITLE "Boniato Gratin"
    Excerpted from Miami Spice: The New Florida Cuisine by Steven Raichlen and Robin Zingone Copyright (c) by Steven Raichlen.

    ... more great recipes from Steven Raichlen on our GREAT CHEFS page!

    yields serves 6 time--- difficultyeasy

    The name boniato ( a Cuban sweet potato) comes from the Spanish word for "good" or "harmless." The early explorers of the Caribbean encountered a bewildering array of new plants--many of them poisonous. In a world of strange and sometimes toxic foods, the nourishing boniato must have made a welcome addition to the settlers' diet. The coffee liqueur brings out the sweetness of the boniato.

      RECIPE INGREDIENTS

    • 2 pounds boniatos, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
    • Salt
    • 1/2 cup heavy (or whipping) cream
    • 1/2 cup Chicken Stock (see page 329) or canned broth
    • 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • Pinch of grated nutmeg
    • 1/4 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs
    • 2 tablespoons butter

      RECIPE METHOD

    1. Boil the boniato in salted water to cover (at least 2 quarts) until very tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain the boniato and return to the pan.

    2. Mash the boniato to a coarse puree with a potato masher or fork. Work in the cream, stock, coffee liqueur, salt, pepper, an nutmeg. The mixture should be highly seasoned and moist. If necessary, add a little more stock.

    3. Spoon the boniato mixture into a lightly buttered 8-inch gratin dish. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and dot with the butter. (The recipe can be prepared several hours ahead to this stage.)

    4. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

    5. Just before serving, bake the gratin until crusty and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.


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