Friday, November 17, 2006

Mashed Yams With Garlic, Chestnuts & Sweet Vermouth

I love the deep orange yams that are prevalent in stores this time of year. Called garnet yams, they are less starchy and higher in fiber than potatoes. Having just roasted a batch of chestnuts, I'm experimenting with how to use them in dishes for the holidays. This one is definitely a keeper.

Mashed Yams with Garlic, Chestnuts & Sweet Vermouth
Christine's original recipe
3 large garnet yams, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 tablespoon butter or Earth Balance buttery spread
4 cloves garlic, minced
7-8 chestnuts, roasted, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup sweet vermouth
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Butter (optional)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place yams in a pot of boiling, salted water and cook until very tender. Drain, return to pot and hold off heat.
Meanwhile, in a heavy skillet over medium low heat, saute the garlic and chestnuts in the butter until the garlic is softly cooked.
Add the sweet vermouth and continue to cook until the liquid has reduced by half.
Place the pot of yams over very low heat and mash with a wooden spoon until almost smooth. Don't beat the yams, just gently smash them.
Pour the garlic, chestnut, vermouth mixture over the yams and fold in to fully incorporate.
Add the maple syrup and maybe a small amount of butter or Earth Balance.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.