what to do w/ organic yams / butternut squash
i bought some organic yams at the market the other day - i tried steaming it in the microwave (my quick fix) -- they looked awful. The crows ate them
we are trying to stay away from too much salt (sodium), fat, etc
i just don't know what to do with these things
ps - i also have a few butternut squash from a farm owned by our friends - what a nice gift - but what do i do w/ them?
Here's a recipe that will work with either yams or butternut squash.
2 medium butternut squash (4 to 5 pounds total)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (or to your taste)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Discard the ends of the butternut squash. Peel, cut in half lengthwise, remove the seeds of the squash. Slice into 1 1/4 - 1 1/2" cubes and place on a baking sheet. Add the melted butter, brown sugar, salt, pepper. Toss all the ingredients together and spread in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes - 1 hour, till the squash (or yams) is tender and the glaze begins to caramelize. During the roast turn the vegetables a few times with a spatula, to be certain they brown evenly. Taste for seasonings and adjust if necessary. Serve.
Sometimes I include ground cumin and/or cayenne or crushed red pepper flakes. This recipe is easily halved, which is what I usually do since there's only two of us here...
You could make a warm/hot salad. It works better in an acorn squash half, but basically just add baby arugula and goat cheese to the cavity after roasting. then toss with vinaigrette.
I made this for my Argentine Global Table Adventure (I'm cooking one meal for every country in the world, going alphabetically... I usually do about 4 dishes per country).
Here's the link to that recipe (with more photos)
I'm not crazy about sweet squash, so I'm on a savory roasted butternut kick. My two favorites involve roughly cubing the peeled squash (rough being the operative word, they require a bit of elbow grease) while heating a large oven-safe pan over high heat. Hit the pan with olive oil, add squash, and give a quick saute. Preheat oven to either 350 or 375, depending on what else you might be cooking, then add either whole, chopped or smashed garlic cloves, about a T of butter and salt to taste.
From there, I add a little chipotle powder (how did I cook without chipotle powder?) if I want heat or a sprig of rosemary (I have an ugly - but tasty! - bag of frozen rosemary in my freezer from my dad's garden). Roast, stirring once or twice to evenly brown, and if I've gone the garlic/rosemary route I sometimes finish with a bit of parmesan and let it brown, testing for done-ness at about the 20 minute range - it's quicker than it seems it should be.
What was wrong with cooked yams? Color? The Japanese yams that I like are an unappetizing gray/green after cooking, but there's nothing wrong with the flavor.