Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jammin Ham-n-Yams - Salty Sweet Potatoes

I have never been a fan of the Sweet Potato or what we mistakenly call a Yam here in the U.S. Real yams, genus Dioscorea, are rarely available in the US and grow up the 2.5 meters long and can weight 150 lbs. What we call a "Yam" in the US is actually a soft Sweet Potato, as opposed to firm varieties which are referred to as, well, "Sweet Potatoes", both of which are of the same genus (Ipomoea) as your garden variety Morning Glories.

I'll admit it, I have sugar "issues". It’s more or less true, I guess. I don't really care for sweet stuff, (no I am not an alien from another planet) opting more overtly for all things sour, bitter, umami (savory) and salty. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a nice bite of Devil’s Food cake, a tiny sliver of Pecan Pie, or a couple bites of Crème Brûlée. Even though I joke about sitting in a corner with a jar of Nutella and a spoon, the truth of the matter is... Well, yes, it tastes delicious but I actually overload on sweet, for lack of a better term, after 1 or 2 bites even though I would LOVE to eat more... I just can't...

Therein lays my distaste for all things of the sweet potato persuasion. ESPECIALLY that Thanksgiving train wreck called “Candied Yams”, as if the things aren't sweet enough already, let’s just add Brown Sugar… And worse... MARSHMALLOWS. (shudder) Yes, that is what every T-Day tuber needs, sugar flavored whipped gelatin melted over the top... (Sorry, I really do hate them - I can't help it)

BUT <--- Please note that this is a big “but” ;) I do love things that balance Sweetness and Saltiness… I seem to have a higher tolerance for “the sweet stuff” when it has the ability to double as “the salty stuff”. Case in point --- Salt caramels, can’t get enough of them… Pay Day candy bars – AWESOME! Chocolate Covered Bacon, Apples and Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Parmegiano-Reggiano drizzled with Honey, Potato Chip Cookies, Screamin’ Yellow Zonkers, Prosciutto Wrapped Almond Stuffed Dates, Musk melon wrapped in Prosciutto… WAIT!!! Hold up! Those last two items… Hmmmmmmm Yep, that was the answer, and I would not have thought about it if it hadn’t been for Matt74 on BakeSpace and his awesome Prosciutto wrapped Fingerling Potatoes. Which I did make, as a side dish for Cambazola Stuffed Pork Loin, and I absolutely loved them. Well Heck, If you can wrap a Fingerling Potato, then why not wrap a Sweet Potato? So I hunted down some baby sweet potatoes. Trader Joe’s delivered yet again. Most Excellent!!

Prosciutto Wrapped Baby Sweet Potatoes

Baby Sweet Potatoes
Prosciutto Slices
Olive oil
Cracked Black Pepper
Ground Cinnamon (Oh yeah baby!)

I only did a few cause, like bacon, once prosciutto has been “cooked” it doesn’t reheat well.

Preheat the oven to 375

Simply peel the Sweet Potatoes and rub then with olive oil, then sprinkle with cracked Black Pepper and Cinnamon.

Wrap each Sweet Potato in 1 slice of Prosciutto and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet

Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the ends are easily pierced with a fork. (I cooked mine for 25 minutes, which was a little too long)

Serve warm, and enjoy… I sure did, I ate all 5 of them… They were delicious, and the cinnamon really highlighted the flavor, I don’t think I had ever noticed that sweet potatoes have an almost cinnamon quality to their flavor. It’s amazing what you discover about something once the overwhelming sweetness of sugar & marshmallows is removed.

I actually LIKE Sweet Potatoes… Who’d a thunk it? Certainly not me!! Now I am wondering how mouthwateringly delectable they might be is simply sliced and sautéed in butter or olive oil with just a little salt and pepper? OK, maybe more than just a little salt… :) AWESOME!!!



Patti T. said...

I love sweet potatoes, but not the whole brown sugar, marshmallow thing. I know I am weird but I love them baked like a regular potato and then with butter and sour cream. Growing up everyone turned up their noses when I ate them like this. Even so, I have not outgrown loving them this way. Oh my goodness, wrapped in bacon or prosciutto sounds even better!

DDpie said...

Hey! Don't be dissin' candied yams now, I love them! (I also like sweet potato fries) But hey, I must admit, yours do look pretty darn good too ;)

Michele said...

You ate 6 sweet potatoes in one sitting? Holy cow! Wow! I usually just bake mine like a potato and add a pat of butter and some salt. I also like to roast them with other veggies in the winter time (potatoes, carrots, onions,etc.)

I bet the salty and sweet flavor was fantastic! You always do something different and I admire that!

Bob said...

I'm not a candied yam fan either. I think they're just way too much. I love this idea though, it's something I'm going to have to try out!

girlichef said...

Wow, lovin' the salty-sweet combo you've come up with!! I'm definitely going to have to try them this way! And then on to that chocolate-covered bacon....

Danielle said...

I so wish I liked sweet potatoes (or yams or whatever you want to call them LOL) cuz they look really good!!