Wednesday, November 24, 2010

One of My Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes (a.k.a., the only yam recipe I like)

I understand that yams can be pretty divisive. Most people either love them or hate them. If you like yams, I think you'll love this recipe. If you don't like them, I'll just ask you to keep an open mind. I mean, there are no marshmallows in this recipe. The yams are mashed and sweetened and then topped with sugary pecan crumble. So it is different than the others I've seen. Maybe you won't hate this recipe?  Like the title says -- this is the only yam recipe I like. Give it a try.

There are two parts to this recipe: the mashed yams and the toppings. To get started with the mashed yam mixture, you'll need:

3 cups of mashed yams (how many yams this is totally depends on the size of the yams you use. I used about 4 large to medium sized ones)
4 Tbsp. of butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup white sugar (this year, my mom substituted some of the white sugar with pure maple syrup -- gave it a nice flavor)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Boil the yams, with the peel still on, until tender (if you can stick a fork all the way through them, they're ready).  Once they're cooked, transfer them to a clean surface and peel; the peel will come off easily.

Once peeled, mash the cooked yams like you would mashed potatoes. I used my KitchenAid, but you could also use a hand mixer or mash it with a potato masher. Get it nice and smooth.

In a mixing bowl, combine the mashed yams with butter, eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt.  Once mixed, pour it into a round or square baking dish.

One nice thing about this recipe is that you can break it into different days -- you can make the mashed yam mix days before you need them and then on the day you're going to serve them, mix up the topping and bake.

For the topping, you'll need:

4 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the butter, sugars, flour, and pecans. The topping resembles one you'd see on a fruit crisp -- yum!

Sprinkle the topping all over the mashed yam mixture.  Bake for 45 minutes.

And there it is -- the only yam recipe I like. It's really good -- a sort of cross between a side dish and a dessert. Like I said, approach it with an open mind.

Speaking of desserts...

I couldn't help posting a link to this 'pie' I made today. It's the Pioneer Woman's Nantucket Cranberry Pie.  I just baked it. It was so, so easy to make and it smells AMAZING!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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