Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Maple Glazed Roasted Yams
Sweet potatoes or yams are really good for you. But letting them simmer for an hour or more in a bath of brown sugar syrup is a little contrary to any health benefits! Roasting brings out the natural sweetness and glazing with real maple syrup adds just the right amount of “candy” to the mix.
Instead of roasting chunks of large yams or sweet potatoes, I prefer to use the smallest Garnet, or Jewel Yams I can find and serve them whole. I’m talking about little beauties that are only two or three inches long and no more than an inch and an half thick. Garnet yams have moist golden flesh that is naturally sweet and their starchy texture absorbs the additional flavors we introduce when left to rest for a day or more.
Just like lasagna or stew, this dish’s flavor really comes into its own when prepared a day or two before eating it. The yams absorb the flavors of the maple glaze, not to mention the sweet caramelized onion and bacon.
Maple Glazed Roasted Yams
Yield: 8 to 10 Servings Preparation Time: 15 Minutes Cooking Time: 50 Minutes
• ¼ Pound Bacon
• 4 Pounds very small Garnet or Jewel Yams, peeled, rinsed and patted dry
• 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
• 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
• ½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
• 1 Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
• 1 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
• 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
Step 1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
Step 2. In a large sauté pan or skillet over medium heat cook the bacon until crisp. Transfer the cooked Bacon to a bowl and crumble leaving the fat in the pan. Set both the bowl and the pan to the side.
Step 3. In a large bowl, toss the Yams with the Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper until coated then spread them in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Roast for 20 minutes then turn the Yams and roast for another 20 minutes.
Step 4. While the Yams are roasting, return the pan with the Bacon fat back to medium heat, add the onions and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and cook the onions, stirring often, for another 15 minutes until soft and light brown. Do not let the Onions crisp. Combine the onions with the bacon in the bowl and set aside.
Step 5. Increase the heat under the pan to medium-low, pour the maple syrup into the hot pan and bring to a boil until reduced by half; 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the Butter until melted and incorporated into the Syrup then transfer the roasted Yams and the Bacon/Onion mixture into the skillet and stir to combine.
Transfer to a serving dish and keep covered & warm until ready to serve.
Tips and Trending
~ Weigh the yams above after you’ve peeled them. If you start with 4 pounds of yams and then peel them, you no longer have 4 pounds of yams to cook and somebody isn’t going to get enough to eat!
~ If preparing this dish ahead of time, allow the completed dish to cool covered in the sauté pan then transfer to a covered storage container and refrigerate.
~ Lots of holiday meal side dishes can be made a day or more in advance and kept refrigerated. Remember to remove them from the refrigerator an hour before the main course turkey or roast is scheduled to come out of the oven. Your bird or roast should finish cooking outside of the oven anyway and that’s when all of those side dishes get reheated. Set the oven temperature to 350ºF and pile in the sides, covered for 30 to 45 minutes. When the turkey has rested and been carved, you can take out the sides and take the feast to the table amidst all the oohs and ahhs!