Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Candied Yams

Photo by Jeremy93, flickr
Perfect for that holiday dinner, candied yams are a sweet-savoury vegetable dish to be served along side a substantial meat, like turkey or roast beef. There are as many recipes for candied yams as there are families that make and eat them, but this recipe has been a huge hit at my house for family and friends alike!

You can use fresh yams or yellow sweet potatoes... but to make it easy, you can use canned yams if they are available in your area. If using fresh veg, you must prepare them the day before and refrigerate, then finish preparation about a half hour before serving.

3 large yellow sweet potatoes or yams
1/3 to 2/3 cups dark brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves (optional)
1 bag white mini marshmallows

Day before (if using fresh veg):
Wash sweet potatoes, put in large pot and cover with salted water. Boil until tender (30 to 45 minutes)
Peel sweet potatoes under cold running water
Cut into chunks about 1" x 2" (2.5 cm by 5 cm)
Put in covered dish and refrigerate

Day of serving:
Preheat oven to 325F (160C)
Pour off any liquid from sweet potatoes or canned yams
Butter the bottom and sides of a covered casserole dish
Put sweet potatoes into dish and spread out flat
Sprinkle with sugar
Sprinkle with cinnamon and cloves
Cover top with marshmallows, spread out

Put lid on casserole and put in oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until yams/sweet potatoes are heated through (you can do this step in the microwave).
Remove cover from casserole and bake in oven until marshmallows begin to melt and brown on the top.

Serve immediately.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Spicy Bean Salad

This is a delicious, easy-to-prepare salad that is just perfect for BBQs or braais…or any day you need a break in the kitchen. My mother-in-law makes this, and it is a perennial favourite with my husband. You can manage the degree of spiciness by regulating the amount of chilli you put in it…adding the seeds makes it hotter.

This is soooo good served with potato salad and grilled chicken! I don’t even like pork and beans (baked beans) and I love this!

1   400 to 410 gram tin baked beans in tomato sauce, chilled
    (Americans: 14 to 16 ounce can of pork and beans—discard the chunk of salt pork)
1   small onion, chopped fine
1   medium tomato, cut into very small pieces
1   small green chilli (bullet or Serrano), seeded and minced fine (less if you want it milder)
1   tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
¼ cup chopped cilantro (coriander, dhania)

Combine first five ingredients and mix well. Put in fridge to chill for at least one hour. Sprinkle with cilantro just before serving.