I would say to count at least a large yam and a half per person. Organic only! As well as with all the ingredients for this dish if not it will not work. There is chemistry at work here to bring it together. Of course a glass of wine, champagne, or Martini and being surrounded by family and friends, should always accompanied the preparing of this dish. This is a must!
– Yams Organic
– Butter Organic
– Moist Brown Sugar Organic
– Mini Mash Mellows (these don’t have to be organic….)
– Orange Juice Organic
Best prepared at least the day before to avoid taking up kitchen time on the day of. It’s basically a three step process. Boiling the yams, then letting them cool down enough to work with them to put the whole dish together, and finish by baking it.
Begin with boiling the yams with a bit of salt to salinize the water. You may need more than one pot depending on the amount of people you are cooking for. Usually about 45mn to hour until yams are tender, or so that a knife can slip through the center with still a bit of resistance. Let cool.
Then peel the yams by hand or with the help of a knife, slice into 1/3 of an inch medallions. Somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 inch.
In a glass baking dish, lasagna size for larger tables, or casserole ones, for smaller get-togethers, butter the surface with your hands. By the way, the preparing of this dish does get messy…and fun, of course. You will be building layers of yam medallions, a light coating of brown sugar, a sprinkle of marsh mellows, and a few quarters of butter. I have learned to take a stick of butter quarter it lengthwise, then slice 1/4 inch pieces that easily break into 4 smaller pieces which are then spaced evenly about every 3 inches.
Make 3 to 4 layers, making sure you have a little room at the top so the goodies don’t spill over while baking. On the top layer splash a small amount of orange juice (optional if you want to be traditional) to give it a little zing.
Finish off with a whole lotta marsh mellows….. Then tin foil over the top, doing everything you can to not touch the marsh mellows, or you will ruin the dish, and will not be able to call it “Emmanuel’s Candied Yams.” You will have to take full responsibility for the failure, and it’s not pretty, I can tell you that from experience. I blamed my brother Salvator once, for which I still feel a twinge of guilt, but please don’t tell him, this was a while back.
If you prepared the dish the day before, take it our of the fridge with enough time to become room temperature. If you have a large enough oven, or two ovens, you can put it in about 30min before the turkey is ready so it continues cooking while the turkey rests, and is carved. If not, cook it before the turkey, it takes about 45 min, then rewarm it when the turkey is out of the oven.
Preheat oven to 350º, bake for about 40 min; it should be bubbling. When it looks pretty happy, take the tin foil off for the last 10 min or until the marsh mellows brown a bit. You will know when it’s happy. It will smile at you…
This dish may seem skewed for children, but is actually has a deceptively sophisticated flavor and is a perfect compliment to the rest of the Thanksgiving feast.
Enjoy, and let me know how it went.
Many thanks to all of you for making this a great year.
Have a great and Happy Thanksgiving!