My take on the Paradise Casserole served at Candle Cafe in New York. Next time I think i'll try to spice it up a little bit more. It was good but not great yet. You can find the Candle Cafe Cookbook Here. I don't own it, I just happened to find this recipe online (and after reading the reviews I'm not sure if I'm going to ever buy the cookbook)
Here is the original recipe I found at this website (just in case any of you want to make the real deal)
Sweet Potato Layer:
2 Sweet Potatoes
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon ground Cloves
2 t. Ground Cinnamon
Black Bean Layer:
1 C. Black Beans, soaked overnight
2 t. Garlic, minced
1⁄2 C. White Onion, finely chopped
1 Teaspoon Cumin
Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
1-1/2 teaspoons egg replacer
2 tablespoons hot/warm water
1 cups yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 Cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup stock (such as Unchicken broth)
1/2 small onion
1. Preheat oven to 450.
2. (Sweet Potato Layer) Bake the sweet potatoes for 1 hour, or until fork-tender. When cool enough to handle, remove the cooked potatoes from their skins, place in a large mixing bowl, and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Combine the cinnamon and cloves with the potatoes.
3. (Black Bean Layer) Meanwhile, put the beans in a large stockpot and add water to cover by 2”. Add the garlic, onion, cumin, crushed red pepper, and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer the beans for 45-60 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside.
4. (Cornbread Dressing Layer) Grease a cast iron skillet with shorting or soy butter (or oil if you have nothing else).
5. Combine egg replacer with water and stir until all the powder is dissolved in the water. In a separate bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, hot sauce and cumin. Add egg mixture, oil and water; stir until smooth. Spoon the batter into the greased skillet.
6. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes, until the center is completely cooked and the edge is brown.
7. Once cooled place cornbread in a food processor with stock and onion. Grind until there are no longer any large pieces and mixture is smooth.
(Bringing it all together)
5. Lightly oil a large baking pan or casserole. Spread the Cornbread Dressing over the bottom of the pan, then spread the black beans in an even layer over the Dressing. Top with the sweet potato mixture over the black beans in an even layer.
6. Bake the casserole for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from the oven and let cool a bit before serving.
Serves six to eight.