Thursday, January 19, 2006

I Yam What I Yam

Sweet potatoes, yams, I don't care what you call them, as long as you call me to dinner when you serve 'em.

The other night I made a savory side dish to a spontaneous meal (you know, the kind of cooking where somehow you kind of forgot you were going to have to make dinner that night and it catches you by surprise and you sure hope there is something in the fridge/freezer/pantry your family will actually eat).

I served these very savory sweet potato sticks (or batons to be fancy) with grilled chicken with a pureed red pepper sauce and a leafy green salad with spinach. Colorful, healthy and delicious.

Caramelized Sweet Potato Batons

Makes about four side servings

glug ( one to two tablespoons) of grapeseed, canola or other vegetable oil
1/2 med. red onion, very thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound of sweet potato or yam, peeled, cut into 2 inch sticks, about 1/4 inch wide
approx 1 cup of chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 tsp cumin (or you could use curry powder or other seasoning)
dash of red pepper flakes
freshly ground pepper
sea salt
splash of a good quality extra virgin olive oil OR balsamic vinegar

Heat oil in large saute or fry pan.
Lower heat to med-low. Add sliced onions, saute slowly and stirring frequently until softened and slightly caramelized and browned.
Return heat to med-high.
Add garlic, saute until just beginning to color.
Add sweet potato sticks, stir to coat and saute for until the sweet potato begins to brown in spots.
Add in cumin (or curry powder) and red pepper flakes. Mix and saute to release spices' scents.
Add chicken stock, stir well and then reduce heat to medium. Let sweet potatoes cook until stock is almost totally reduced down and the sweet potatoes sticks are cooked through. (Add more stock as needed if necessary.)
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add splash of oil or vinegar. Stir and serve.

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