Thursday, November 19, 2009

Yams, Two Ways

No, this is not Iron Chef. Nor is this anything fancy or complicated. But yams are an important dish on many Thanksgiving tables, and here are a few ways I like to prepare them. I know a lot of people like to add maple or brown sugar to yams, but I prefer them mostly plain. I find them plenty sweet on their own, but if you like, you could totally use maple syrup or brown sugar in either of these cooking methods. I also always call these 'sweet potatoes', which drives my son crazy. Hrmm... maybe that's why I continue to do it....

Easy Roasted Yams

And I mean easy. You don't even have to peel them for this cooking method. Grab however many yams you want to cook and slice them about 1/2 inch thick. Toss them with some salt, pepper and olive oil. (If you are the sort that goes for sweeter, you could add brown sugar or maple syrup at this point, I Imagine.) Spread them out on a baking sheet (or two) in a single layer, and bake in a 350 degree oven until soft and browned, maybe 15-20 minutes. You should flip them over once during cooking to get both sides browned. That's it. Easy peasy, but oh so yummy. Look, it was so easy I didn't even try to write a recipe!

Smashed Yams

Milk, Half and Half, or Cream
Salt and Pepper
Maple Syrup or Brown Sugar, if desired

I am not listing quantities because you can easily make a lot or a little depending on how many eaters you have. I used about 1 tbps of butter and maybe 1/4 cup milk for one big yam. (Plus the big pat of butter melting over the top in this photo.)

For this one you will need to peel your yams. Peel them, then cut them into roughly 1/2 inch hunks. Put them into a pan of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and boil until they are very tender, 15 minutes or so. Once they are tender, drain them and return them to the hot pan. Begin to mash them with a potato masher, when they are about 1/2 mashed, add in the butter, milk (and syrup) and continue mashing until you get the consistency you like. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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