CARAMELIZED PECAN BAKED YAMS WITH SWEET MISO
c. Jane Quincannon Stanchich
Everyone loves baked yams! They are full of sweet rice flavor as well as beta carotene and they boost estrogen. This delicious version has the surprise of healthy white miso mixed with brown rice syrup, a balanced grain sweetener. Enjoy.
- 8 garnet yams
- 1 Tablespoon corn oil or olive oil
- 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
- 2 Tablespoons mellow white miso
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1 cup pecan halves, pre-toasted
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse yams well and peel. Rinse again. Slice into 1-inch thick rounds or chunks and place into a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan with 2-inch sides (Pyrex is fine.)
In a measuring cup with spout, whisk together the syrup, miso, oil and apple juice. Pour liquid mixture over the sliced yams and mix together well. The pan will also become oiled. Cover pan with parchment paper or loose foil.
Bake yams at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 30 minutes; remove cover and continue cooking until yams are fork tender. Remove from oven, place on serving platter or bowl and garnish with pre-toasted pecans. Herbs such a rosemary are also yummy.
Note: Steamed yams are delicious also. Simply slice yams and place in a
steamer for 10-15 minutes or until tender.
TOAST PECANS: Rinse pecans. Drain. Place on dry cookie sheet (with sides) and bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 10-14 minutes or until pecans have a lightly toasted flavor and color.
The Joy of Julienne
By Jane Quincannon Stanchich
"It is all in zee cut." I suppose many observant Frenchmen have said this, about couture clothes and culinary arts, both highly developed in France and admired throughout the world. One can truly appreciate the superb design and cut of both fine clothing and fine dining in any cuisine or country. “So, hold zee knife so, and begin!”
An appealing, simple culinary cutting style is called “julienne,” or “matchstick,” that yields very tall and thin slices of vegetables. Generally we cut root vegetables, such as carrots, daikon, parsnips, burdock, onions, and turnips in this manner. Yet try cutting these vegetables in julienne: Green beans, summer squash, cabbage, red radishes, winter squash, cucumbers, and the stems of broccoli and bok choy.
I was taught to cut julienne carrots in the following manner:
- Clean organic vegetables.
- Remove only discolored or lumpy skin.
- Avoid peeling vegetables whenever possible.
- Place vegetable on wooden cutting board.
- Slice in thin diagonals.
- Stack three diagonals on top of each other.
- Holding stack firmly.
- Slice downward in very thin 1/8 inch wide slices.
I will note that professional chefs and those who cook for large numbers of people, slice julienne vegetables by laying the diagonals on their side atop each other in a line, then they adeptly slice the edges of the elongated line to form quick cut julienne. Try this way!
SAUTEED ROOT VEGETABLES JULIENNE
This scrumptious, timeless vegetable dish, also known as kimpira, is the preeminent recipe for enhancing our overall vitality and libido. Yes, these sautéed root vegetables add strength to our reproductive organs and sexual energy. It is affectionately known in certain circles as “Macro Viagra.” Earthy root vegetables, sautéed and simmered, gives us a warming, sustaining power.
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 cup burdock root, julienne
- 2 cups carrots or parsnips, julienne
- 1 teaspoon tamari or shoyu
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 scallion, julienne
Heat the oil in a heavy skillet. Add the burdock and sauté over a medium flame for 3-4 minutes. Place carrots or parsnips on top of the burdock. Add water to 1/4 the way up the vegetables. Cover skillet and simmer for 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender but still crisp. Add tamari/shoyu. Stir gently to mix flavors. Leave lid open so all water evaporates. Serve garnished with toasted black sesame seeds and sliced scallions.