Saturday, December 24, 2011

My Favorite Holiday Dish

      I must confess – I love holiday food. I love turkey, ham, potatoes & gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce…and baked yams. I’ve always loved the humble yam, and I have recently decided to get up-close and personal and do a little bit of research.

      The orange-colored yam is a variety of sweet potato, but different from the lighter variety that’s commonly known as a “sweet potato.” The "sweet potato" has lighter skin, light yellow flesh, and despite it’s name, it isn’t sweet. The one that’s commonly referred to as a yam has a dark reddish-brown skin, bright orange meat, and a sweet taste. 

So, even though the terms are used interchangeably, both of these tubers are sweet potatoes, just different varieties.

      True yams have a black or brown skin, and off-white, purple, or red flesh. They grow in tropical climates, like the Carribean, South  America, and Africa. There’s over 150 varieties of yam, and they taste generally sweeter than sweet potatoes.They are not even remotely related to sweet potatoes.

So, I want to share my enthusiasm for the orange-fleshed sweet potato, with a simple, yet delicious recipe:

Mashed baked yams (Orange Sweet Potatoes)

·           4-5 medium yams
·         ¼ c dark brown sugar
·         ½ bag mini marshmallows

     1.      Peel yams. Cut into chunks and boil until soft.
     2.      Put into bowl and mash yams with masher or fork.
     3.      When yams are mashed until smooth, mix in brown sugar.
     4.      Spoon mixture into 8x8 dish, and spread a generous amount of mini marshmallows on top.
     5.      Cover dish with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until the top of the marshmallows are brown and crispy.
     6.      Wait for it to cool. Enjoy!

 I hope you all learned a little something, and will enjoy “yams” as much as I do!

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