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Author Notes: Nothing beats the winter blues like cooking comforting winter vegetables with a refreshing, zesty twist. This recipe features sweet yams and spicy mustard greens with Thai-inspired flavors. Though particularly cheery on a bitter cold winter day, this dish can be enjoyed any time of year.
Makes 14 3-inch cakes
- 3 tablespoons tamarind paste
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Juice of one lime
- Prepare sauce by simply stirring together all sauce ingredients in a small dish until smooth. Set aside.
- 1 1/2 pounds yams, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cut into ¼ -inch-thick slices
- 1 pound mustard greens, stems removed and leaves chopped
- Extra virgin coconut oil
- 2 large shallots, diced
- 8 whole scallions, diced
- 4 large garlic cloves, finely diced
- 1-inch knob of ginger, peeled and finely diced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro, coarsely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large egg, beaten smooth
- 4 tablespoons coconut flour
- 1 scant cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut for coating
- Place yam slices in a medium saucepan with enough cold water to cover and add 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook 5 minutes or until yams are slightly tender.
- Stir in mustard greens, return to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and continue to cook for an additional 7 minutes or until yams mash easily under a fork and greens are tender.
- Drain yams and greens thoroughly in a fine mesh strainer. Place 1 tablespoon of coconut oil into the warm saucepan and allow it to melt completely. Transfer the drained yams and greens back into the saucepan (pan should not be over heat). Mash to a nice, chunky texture. Set aside.
- Heat a medium-sized frying pan over medium heat and coat with coconut oil. Add the shallots, scallions, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook for about 4 minutes, or until vegetables have softened, stirring often.
- Add smoked paprika and cilantro to shallot mixture, stirring just until cilantro is wilted and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Fold mixture into greens/yam mash. Taste for salt and pepper.
- Fold egg into the mash. Fold coconut flour into mash one tablespoon at a time until ¼ cup of the vegetable mixture holds together in a compact patty. Form cakes ¼ cup at a time between hands so that they are about 3 inches in diameter. Coat each patty evenly with unsweetened, shredded coconut.
- Heat clean frying pan over medium heat. Melt about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in pan and heat until sizzling. Add cakes to pan, cooking no more than three at one time. Press each cake firmly into the pan with spatula to ensure even sear. Fry cakes until golden brown on both sides, about 4-5 minutes per side. Be sure to wipe pan clean between batches.
- Sprinkle hot cakes immediately with salt. Dot with the tamarind sauce—a little sauce goes a long way and truly makes the flavors sing! Serve warm.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dark, Leafy Greens
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