Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Last Yam Recipe You'll Ever Need

Bold words, I know. But try these and see if you don't agree.

Our Christmas feast was a Caribbean theme: tostones (twice-fried plantains) with black bean and mango salsa, jerk pork, rice and pigeon peas, sesame bread and ginger-lime yams.

(There was Key Lime pie for dessert).

Everything tasted terrific but for my palate, the yams were the brightest star in a constellation of shining dishes.

Oh. My. Yord. I've used ginger with yams before; seems like a natural and delicious pairing. But there was something nigh unto magical about the way the lime ingratiated itself with the rest of the flavors. It was subtle in the "what am I tasting here?" sort of way but it wasn't hiding, either. Perhaps it was the touch of brightness the lime lent to what can otherwise be, let's face it, a somewhat cloying dish. And this was could shove it between 2 layers of pate brisee and be pretty happy, I reckon...but the emphasis wasn't on the sugar. That really acted only to hold things together and enhance the natural sweetness of the yams.

It was also super quick to prepare, always a bonus. Super quick, that is, assuming you own a mandolin (the cutting sort, of course, not the musical sort). The yams should be sliced thin.

This dish was so good that I made it the following weekend for our annual Sing for Your Supper (turkey) dinner. And guess what? I totally forgot the ginger and the yams were still outrageously "'may I please have some more', no leftovers" good. Ginger-Lime Yams

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
10 cups thinly sliced peeled yams (about 3 pounds)
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
zest of one lime
2 T. fresh lime juice (and I'm sure you aren't the sort to do this anyway but you must promise to use fresh lime juice, not that skanky stuff that comes in a lime-shaped squeezey toy)
zest of one orange
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon soy sauce
little pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 425°.

Combine flour and thin sliced yams in a large bowl and toss to coat.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add sugar and remaining ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.

Pour butter-sugar mixture over yams; toss well. Spoon mixture into a shallow 2-quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray.

Cover and bake at 425° for 55 minutes or until tender. Let stand 10 minutes.


laurelmoons said...

As it happens, I bought a bag o' yams at Trader Joe's on Friday...but no lime or ginger, durn it. The recipe sounds yummy, though!

Word veri: fatorlqr
That has GOT to be the best wv I've ever gotten--and is especially appropriate on a food blog!


Lorraine said...

Are we interpretting that as "fat or liquor"? Because hello? That could be my tag line!

Now go back to TJs and get some lime and ginger.

Buck said...

I fully agree that one should use limes rather than "the skanky stuff that comes out of the squeezy toy." (that's funny)

Much to my dismay, Nigella has taken to using the squeezy toy on her new series, Nigella Express. Can you believe???

laurelmoons said...

Yes, Rainey, that is exactly the interpretation I had in mind! ;)

Buck--if that's the only ick shortcut she uses, I'll let her have it. Plus, maybe the squeezy lime in the UK is better than what we can get here.

Maybe. But really, how much time does it take to juice a lime?


Anonymous said...

Once, when we were little, my brother kicked me in the tostones.

It hurt like all get out.

Lorraine said...

Nigella has had her woes. But there is still no excuse for that.

JP, I don't know why you don't have your own food blog. Seriously.

Aus-car said...

This is the same recipe I've been making for holiday meals since 2002, courtesy of my friend roni, who found it here: