Archived entries for yams

Sweet Potato Purée with Pecan Streusel: A Little Something On the Side

As you might have gathered, we’re big fans of Thanksgiving here at P&C. Last year, Shiv even live-blogged her fabulous Thanksgiving fête. While I’ve helped put on a huge Fakesgiving celebration a few times before and after the actual holiday, I hadn’t cooked a full Thanksgiving menu by myself until recently. Luckily, I received a review copy of Diane Morgan’s  The New Thanksgiving Table, so I had a good source for inspiration.

Many of the recipes in this book aren’t really limited to Thanksgiving. I’m sure your guests at any dinner party wouldn’t mind being served Vermont farmhouse cheddar cheese straws or crostini with gulf shrimp, jalapeno and lime, and a parsnip-potato soup topped with crispy bacon would make a delicious meal for any time.

If you’re feeling Thanksgiving ennui and looking for something new, this is also the place for updated classics. There’s turkey glazed with maple syrup, and instructions for spatchcocked turkey roasted with lemon. There’s a riff on stuffing with Linguiça sausage and a sweet potato dish basted with chipotle and lime.

I cooked up Morgan’s sweet potato purée topped with a sweet pecan streusel. I tweaked the quantities slightly, reducing the butter a bit and cutting down the brown sugar—my sweet potatoes were pretty sweet to begin with.

Roasting the sweet potatoes concentrates their flavor nicely, but an equivalent amount of canned unsweetened sweet potato purée is not a huge compromise in this recipe. Just check the ingredients on the can first, or you might hit sugar overload before you even get to the pie.

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Yam, Poblano, and Corn Salad: A Perfect Barbecue Side

We had a perfect barbecue the other night. It came together the way summer parties should—casually—with invites issued when inspiration struck that morning at breakfast. Sure enough, plenty of our friends had no plans, and we had a bunch of sausages in the fridge that needed grilling, and the afternoon sun was golden and the breeze was soft. We haven’t gotten enough use of our balcony this summer, so we were determined to park ourselves out there for at least a few hours.

We grilled up bratwurst and hot Italian sausage,  garlic scapes, and long skewers of mushrooms. We ate a loaf of bread with the delicious ricotta spread from Andrew Carmellini’s cookbook Urban Italian. (By the way, does anyone want to try his new restaurant with me? I really, really want to go.)

The unexpected star of the meal was this refreshing side dish, a salad of sweet potatoes and smoky poblano peppers inspired by a recipe I saw in Bon Appetit. The combination of poblano and yam the magazine called for sounded delicious, but after I read those two ingredients, I pretty much ignored the rest of the recipe. I’m glad I wrote down the ingredients as I improvised, because this one is definitely a keeper, great for any barbecues or potlucks you have planned. The flavors mingle as time goes on, so feel free to make it a day ahead.

Once I’d latched on to poblano and yam, I decided to throw in a bunch of sweet corn and brighten it up with a lime juice based dressing, smoky with pimenton and a bit of chile powder. Instead of grilling the yams—which I’m not sure I could have managed without a huge mess—I simply cooked them in the microwave. Even though the yams ended up more mashed than chunked, giving the dish a bit of a strange appearance, everyone couldn’t stop eating it. The zing of lime and sweetness of the vegetables was so fresh and tangy, a great foil for the richness of grilled sausages.

We laughed and talked and passed the platters of food around until the sun went down, and stayed outside with a guitar and a giant bowl full of blueberries long past midnight. Sorry for the noise, neighbors.

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