Baked yams with brown sugar and ginger


Baked Yams with Ginger and Brown Sugar
Yam and Brown Sugar Gratin

Yield: 8-12 servings

6 tablespoons butter + butter for greasing pan
6 large yams (about 1 pound). peeled thinly sliced
2 cups minced yellow onion
½ cup minced fresh ginger
½ cup brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
fresh whole nutmeg
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Butter a 9" x 13" a baking dish. Line the bottom with a layer of slightly overlapping yams, top with a scattering of minced onion and ginger. Dot with small pieces of butter and sprinkling of brown sugar. Season with salt, pepper and using a Microplane, a little freshly grated nutmeg. Continue this process until the dish is full.

Pour the water over the dish. Cover the Gratin with plastic wrap and then foil, and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a paring knife can be inserted easily into the potatoes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

A fun seasonal salad--The 4-P Salad!
Mix Greens with Spice Roasted Pears, Persimmon, Pomegranate & Candied Pecans and Sherry Vinaigrette

Serves 4

6 ounces (4 big handfuls) mixed baby greens (mesclun mix), washed and spun dry
1 Fuyu Persimmon (this is the squat round variety that is eaten raw, not the spinning top shaped one, which is mostly used in puree form)
1 pomegranate, scored, peeled and seeds removed and saved in a bowl.

Roasted Pears
Preheat oven to 350°
12 pears peeled, halved and cored
½ cup olive oil
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
a generous sprinkling of salt & pepper

Sherry Vinaigrette
1 cup sherry vinegar
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup minced shallots
3 cups extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
salt & pepper to taste

Spiced Pecans
4 ounces pecan halves
1 tablespoons water
2-tablespoons brown sugar
1-teaspoon kosher salt
1/4-teaspoon chile powder
1/4-teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the persimmon
Slice off the top of the persimmon, then slice it in quarters top to bottom. Then slice each quarter in ¼ " slices.

For the pears
Place the pear halves in a large bowl with the oil, vinegar and seasonings and stir with a large spoon or spatula to evenly and well coat the pears with the marinade. Lay the pears cut side down on baking tray and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow pears to cool for at least 15 minutes. Slice the roasted pear halves into ½" cubes

For the vinaigrette
In a bowl combine the shallots and vinegar. Whisk in olive oil in a thin stream. Season the vinaigrette with the thyme, salt and pepper to taste.

For the pecans
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place pecans, water, sugar and spices in a mixing bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Spread the nuts out onto a non-stick or *silicone mat lined baking tray or cookie sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes or until nuts are just toasted. Be careful not to over cook. Remove the tray and allow the pecans to cool remove from tray and store in an airtight container.

To serve
Place the greens, pear and persimmon slices, pomegranate seeds and pecans in a large salad bowl with just enough vinaigrette to coat and toss well. Place a mound of dressed salad in the middle of the plate and sprinkled with some fresh ground pepper. *available at most gourmet cookware stores -very handy to have for many uses.

Chef Bio: Joey Altman
In 1998 Joey Altman launched Bay Café, a food-magazine television show. Bay Cafe provides food and wine enthusiasts with an insider's look at the Bay Area's rich and diverse culinary scene. While it quickly became a Bay Area favorite food show, after its first season Bay Cafe was been recognized 3 times by the prestigious James Beard with the food-world's equivalent to The Oscar's, The James Beard Award for Best Local Cooking Series in 2000. It went on to win the award again in 2001 and 2006.

Since 2005 Chef Joey Altman has been the chef Spokesperson for Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines, home of BV, Sterling, Acacia, Chalone among others. "Joey's energy and charisma makes it fun and easy to learn about food and wine. Whether conducting cooking demonstrations, entertaining guests at winery events like Merlot in May at Sterling Vineyards or hosting Crush Camp for Weekend Winemakers®, he never fails to impress and educate."-TOM SCOTT, V.P. of P.R. Diageo Chateau & Estates

In addition to local television, Altman also hosted two series for the Television Food Network, "Appetite for Adventure," a show where gourmet cooking meets the great outdoors and "Tasting Napa" a culinary travelogue through Northern California's wine country.


Joey is also the chef consultant for Miss Pearl's Jam House, located at:

Miss Pearl's
1 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94607

Joey Altman is the author of "Without Reservations."
>> Buy the book on Amazon: Without Reservations: How to Make Bold, Creative, Flavorful Food at Home

>> Complete holiday coverage from The View from the Bay

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