Thursday, November 22, 2012

Candied Yams with Pecans

It's been a while since I've last posted! It's been busy - we've moved from LA to the OC, and we're expecting a baby boy in February!!! We have much to be thankful for.  :)

This year, we went over to my cousin Debbie's home for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving for my family is a bicultural feast.  My parents started a tradition of Peking Turkey = eating our turkey in a wrap with scallions/ cucumber / sweet bean paste as if it were peking duck (see photo below). We also like to mix in classic American favorites - stuffing, mashed potatoes, pies. This year, my contribution to dinner was a sweet potato / yam dish.  Although I've been cooking for more than half my life, I had never made this dish before! I browsed many recipes before choosing this one (thanks to my friend Connie for sharing!). It was a hit for Thanksgiving - give it a try for your next holiday dinner!

Candied Yams with Pecans (can do an alternate marshmallow topping)
*Note, I made slight modification -decreasing the butter and sugar just a tad as noted below
Serves 10-12

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 5 pounds sweet potatoes (about 8 medium), peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes  '
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • 1/2 cup water
Pecan Topping:
  • 2 cups pecan halves 
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar 
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten 
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper 
  • Pinch ground cumin
1. FOR THE SWEET POTATOES: Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the sweet potatoes, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and water; bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring often, until the sweet potatoes are tender (a paring knife can be slipped into and out of the center of the potatoes with very little resistance), 45 to 60 minutes.

2. When the sweet potatoes are tender, remove the lid and bring the sauce to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat. Continue to simmer until the sauce has reduced to a glaze, 7 to 10 minutes.

3. FOR THE TOPPING: Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the topping together in a medium bowl; set aside.

4. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Pour the potato mixture into a 13 by 9-inch baking dish (or a shallow casserole dish of similar size). Spread the topping over the potatoes. Bake until the pecans are toasted and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Follow the recipe for Candied Sweet Potato Casserole, substituting 4 cups mini marshmallows for the pecan topping. Bake until the marshmallows are crisp and golden, about 5 minutes.

Peking Turkey :)