Garnet Yams with Hazelnut Butter

17 10 2009
Garnet Yams And Hazelnut Butter

Garnet Yams And Hazelnut Butter

“Oh Man! These are AMAZING!” were the first words I heard from the sous chef after I served her these yams. And I was a room away, with the door shut, changing from my cookin’ pants into my eatin’ pants.  After my pants situation was all settled and I got to take my first bite. I couldn’t agree more!

I love yams. I love yams and brown sugar. I love yams with so much melted margarine that the yams literally could float away on it. And I loved candied yams from cans.  All forms of yams I grew up and by no means am I dismissing those recipes; like I said I loved them and I still do! But luckily the word “hazelnut” has taken me an entirely different direction and added to my ability to work with yams on a symbiotic level.  They give me amazing taste and I give them a reason to have lived and grown. Check. 

Anyway, this week at the farmers market I had found hazelnuts and was flipping through the cook book to make final plans for the week. As a side note the sous chef and I’s farmers market game plan almost always goes like this: 1) do some research on the farmers market blog and in the cookbooks/internet for some general genre ideas for the week, 2) walk around the entire farmers market once to see what they have, 3) consult cookbooks, the internet, and our own ideas to make a menu plan for the week, 4) walk around the farmers market as many times as it takes to find all the ingredients or until the sous chef or I gets grumpy (whichever comes first), and 5) then head home stopping at the grocery store for any supplementary ingredients we may need. So this week one of the things I knew I saw was the hazelnuts and in the back of my mind I swore I saw one stand with the word “Beauregard” on a sign; which conveniently was a type of yam* listed in the cookbook.  So off we went in search. Luckily while we were on the home stretch of the farmers market booths I saw the sign and saw the yams.  3 lbs later of yams I had basically wiped them out and I was a happy kid. Of course I picked up the hazelnuts and the green onions too but those weren’t all that interesting to talk about :)

So back to the recipe at hand: it was simple! Peel and wedge the yams, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes.  In the mean time grind the roasted hazelnuts and mix them with butter.  Once the yams are soft and tender mix with 1/2 of the hazelnut butter and top with some green onions. Done. The sous chef said that it was so simple even she could do it alone! (For the record she is a good cook so there are many things I think she could do alone so I had no doubts about this one.)  The best part was that while I was cutting the yams into ‘wedges’, which ended up being quarters because the thin yams I had, that the pan looked like I was cutting up carrots.  It was pretty funny to me for no apparent reason. 

Either way at the end the yams were delicious at the end and not solely spruced up with some form of sugar. They were tender and the hazelnut better complimented the earthy flavor of the yams themselves. I’d have to say as much as I love candied yams, right now this recipe has won my heart for the ‘favorite yam’ category.  Admittedly, it is a small category but that shouldn’t diminish the achievement of the ‘Garnet Yams and Hazelnut Butter Recipe.’

 ******

* Disclaimer – I realize sweet potato and yams aren’t the same and that “Beauregard” are more technically on the sweet potato side. However, the cookbook calls them yams for this recipe so I’m sticking with it until I personally and truly understand not only the technical difference between sweet potatoes and yams but also the ‘marketing’ difference that seems to have causede the problem in the first place. Ms. Ivy Manning tried to explain it to me as a foot note in the recipe but I honeslty didn’t try to hard to figure it all out.

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