Serves 4 to 6
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 ounces (about 2 links) chorizo sausage
1/2 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, juices strained and reserved, tomatoes chopped
11/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
1 cup fresh or frozen corn, or 1 11-ounce can, drained
11/2 cups dried black beans, cooked, or 1 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed
2/3 cup water
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
11/2 pounds yellow or orange sweet potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch slices, or in disks
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 avocado, sliced, for garnish
2 limes, cut into wedges, for garnish
Cilantro sprigs for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Brush a 9 by 13-inch baking dish lightly with oil.
To prepare the tomato mixture, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Slice the surface of the sausages lengthwise to remove the meat from the casings. Crumble the meat into the hot pan and sauté for about 5 minutes, breaking it up further as it cooks and begins to brown. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano and cook for 30 seconds more.
Pour the reserved tomato juices into the pan to deglaze, scraping the bits from the bottom. Add the chopped tomatoes, cumin, chile powder, and chocolate. Stir to combine while the chocolate melts. Add the corn and black beans, reduce the heat to medium, and allow the mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the water. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary.
Meanwhile, to assemble and cook, spread one-third of the sweet potatoes on the bottom of the prepared baking dish, overlapping the slices. Scoop half the tomato mixture (a heaping cup) and spread evenly across the first layer of potatoes. Top with one-third of the shredded cheese. Repeat this layering process, ending with a layer of potatoes. Reserve the last third of the cheese.
Once assembled, cover with foil, pushing it onto the surface of the top layer, and bake for 1 to 11/2 hours, until potatoes are fork tender (yellow sweet potatoes tend to take longer). Remove the foil and sprinkle the remaining third of the cheese atop the potatoes. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes to allow the layers to set up.
Cut and serve with avocado and lime wedges. Garnish with cilantro as desired.
Joy Manning and Tara Mataraza Desmond, “Almost Meatless”