Jan is still on her very soft food diet from her oral surgery. She is having some of the vichyssoise for dinner, but she has been craving something with a bit more bulk. She asked for mashed yams. Last month, I made some that she really liked, but I think I can make them better.
After Dinner Note: I would not have anyone believe that I never make a mistake. In the effort of full disclosure I am posting this recipe, but I have included a correction to what I actually produced. Please learn from my mistakes.
My thought was that a bit more spice would improve a dish that was already good. However, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. In adding cardamom, I got a bit carried away. Half a teaspoon of cardamom seeds turned out to be way too much. I have reduced this to the seeds of one pod, not the ten I used. Just a little cardamom goes a long way.
Karl’s Mashed Yams
2 lb. Jewel yams
1/3 cup half and half cream
2 Tbs. Irish butter
2+ tsp. cinnamon, separate uses
1 tsp. allspice
1 cardamom pod, seeds removed and ground
½ tsp. white pepper, ground
Pinch Kosher salt (to taste)
Pinch nutmeg, fresh grated
1. Peel and cut the yams into a medium dice (about ¾ inch). Put the yams in a medium pot and cover with water. Cover the pot and set it on the stove until you are ready to cook.
2. Bring the yams to a boil. Once the pot is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until a knife slides in easily.
3. Put the half and half, butter, cinnamon, allspice, cardamom seeds, and pepper into in a microwave safe cup and when the yams are cooked, put the cup of cream in the microwave and heat on high for 1 minute.
Tip: This warms the cream and melts the butter. Depending on your microwave you may need more or less time. You want it hot enough to melt the butter, but you do not want it to boil over.
4. Drain and mash the yams.
Tip: I use a potato ricer to get perfectly smooth mashed potatoes.
5. Whisk in the hot cream mixture and salt. Check the seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
6. Transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and fresh grated nutmeg.