Jan made sweet potato pie recently and she only used two of the three jewel yams she had bought. One small yam is not enough for three people, but I did not want to run out and buy more. What could I do to stretch it into a side dish?
Rice pilaf is found in many cuisines and is just rice cooked with other stuff. It may be as simple as rice cooked with broth or as rich and complex as you would like to make it. I plan to add rice to my yam and maybe a few complementing flavors to give it interest. I plan to serve this side dish with broiled salmon, so I do not want it to distract from the star of the meal, but I do not want it to be boring either.
I made Persian rice a few weeks ago and I really liked the warmth that the cinnamon added to the rice. Ground coriander is another warming spice that I like and goes well with rice. Finally, I decided to add allspice to complement the yams, because it is a frequent addition to sweet potato pie.
If you have been reading my blog, you know that I like to use a lot of garlic. However, with the delicate flavor of the yam adding garlic would overpower the star of the dish. So, “No Garlic For You!” to paraphrase a Seinfeld character.
After Dinner Note: Eilene loved this dish. The amount of spices was perfect, enhancing but not over powering the flavor of the jewel yam.
Karl’s Jewel Yam Rice
1 small jewel yam (about ½ lb.)
¾ cup long grain rice (Jasmine)
4 green onion
2 Tbs. butter (olive oil for Vegan)
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. coriander, ground
½ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. black pepper
Pinch Kosher salt
¼ cup finely diced red pepper
1. Peel and dice the yam into 3/8 inch cubes.
2. Rinse and soak rice for 30 minutes.
Tip: Soaking the rice will ensure that the rice will cooks more quickly (just like soaking beans) and help in not over cooking the yams.
3. Mince green onion.
4. Melt the butter in a medium pot with a tight fitting lid.
5. Sauté the onions for two minutes.
6. Add the spices and cook for 30 seconds more.
Tip: This “blooms” and enhances the flavor of the spices.
7. Drain and add the rice and 1½ cups of water or chicken broth.
8. Stir in the yam and bring the pot to a boil.
9. Cover and reduce the heat to medium low.
Tip: If you do not have a pot lid that is tight fitting, wrap the lid in a thin towel so that there is cloth between the lid and the pot to form a better seal. Tie the tail ends of the towel up to keep them away from the heat if you are using the kind with a knob handle. If you have a loop handle stick the ends into the loop to keep them out of the way.
10. Cook the rice for 20 minutes and then remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes.
Tip: Do not open the pot! The residual steam will finish cooking the rice and yams.
11. Fluff the yam rice and transfer to a serving bowl.
Note: I had planned to garnish with red pepper, but I forgot to prep it before hand and I left it off when it came time to serve. Oops!