Black Beans with Yams

serving black beans and yamsSlow cooked black beans brightened by chunks of yams in a rich, slightly chocolaty sauce will warm your winter chill. Thanks to CHEFS student Maria for inspiring this recipe from her vegetarian chili.

Ingredients:

1 Tb olive oil

1 onion, roughly chopped

1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped, seeds and ribs discarded

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 pound (2 cups) dried black beans

8 cups cold water

1 Tb cumin

1/4 tsp ancho chili powder. Add more if you like spicy beans.

1 tsp cocoa powder

1 tsp oregano

3 large Diane yams, peeled, thickly sliced and roughly chopped into bite sized pieces

about 1 Tb salt. Add a bit at a time until it’s to taste

Instructions:

Fry onions and bell pepper in olive oil until the skin begins to char. Add garlic and fry for a minute more. Remove from heat.

Rinse beans and discard imperfect ones. Add to cold water in a large pot. Stir in seasonings and bring to a boil and let boil for 5 minutes. Add fried vegetables and chopped yams to water and bring to boil again. Pour contents of pot into a slow cooker. Add more water if needed to cover the beans. Set cooker on low and cook all day or all night, depending on whether you start in the morning or evening. It could take at least 8 hours until the beans are soft. Salt to taste, stirring in salt a bit at a time. Freezes well.

 

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Yams on the barbie

grilling yams

My friend Randi introduced me to grilled yams and they were delicious! I tossed mine with butter and cinnamon for a sweet fragrant richness and and they were a hit! Easy to make and a healthy side dish for your next barbecue party.

For each large red garnet yam, use 1 Tb melted butter and several shakes of cinnamon.

Select oval red garnet yams. Slice them about 1/2 inch crosswise (discard ends) and place in a bowl large enough to toss with the butter. Melt the butter and pour over yams. Sprinkle in cinnamon and toss until each yam is coated with butter and cinnamon.

Roast over a medium flame until soft. grill marks will show. Serve warm. I kept them in my oven in a metal bowl under low heat until the rest of the barbecue dishes were ready. They filled the kitchen with a delicious fragrance.

serving yams

 

Abuelita Luz’s Camote con leche (Yam Pudding)

My husband Jesús’ grandmother, Luz, made Camote (pronounced ka-MO-te) con leche as a favorite treat for him when he was a kid. He loves it with a glass of cold milk. I call it Yam Jam since that rhymes, but really it is a pudding. I added a bit of nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice and a spoonful of maple syrup to Luz’s recipe. I bake the yams to caramelize them and bring out their natural sweetness. Smooth and fragrant with spices, this recipe is much lower in sugar than candied yams.

Store yams in a cool dry pantry. Do not refrigerate, as this will lead to a hardcore yam. (I am not talking about porn or zealots here, but a condition in which the outside will soften but the inside will remain hard.)

2 cups mashed garnet yams

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp pumpkin pie spice (I like Trader Joe’s brand)

1 Tb maple syrup

1 cup milk (I use 1 %)

Preheat oven to 450′  Wash yams and stab them several times. Bake in a foil-lined pan with a couple of inches water for an hour or until soft. (The foil makes an easier cleanup). When cool enough, peel them and mash or process in a food processor.

Stir in the rest of the ingredients and sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top.

This dish is easily made ahead of time and reheated in the microwave.