Pan Roasted Yams – Flavorful and Low Fat

Pan Roasted Yams
Yams are usually a vegetable that is reserved for the Thanksgiving table where we slather it with butter, brown sugar and marshmallows successfully disguising any health benefits and probably adding five times the calories in the process.  But you need not wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy this healthy vegetable and you can certainly cook it without adding all the unhealthy toppings.
Yams are available in most groceries year round.  Typically running between $1 and $2 a pound at major chains, our Varrata market routinely has them for $1.00 or less per pound, a good savings.  And they have them in the small, easier to work with sizes.
Bake them, mash them, microwave them and serve them up.  You don’t even need butter on them as Yams are naturally sweet.  I came up with this recipe the other night and loved the way it turned out, pan roasting slices to caramelize some of the natural sugars and cooking them nearly fat-free.  They were delicious!
Pan Roasted Yams –  by Debra Crawford

Serves 3

2 – Medium sizes yams, approximately 6 – 8 inches and 2″ in diameter

1 – Teaspoon olive oil

1 – Pat butter (35 calories in a pat, about 1/3 tablespoon)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Wash dirt from yams, then peel and slice into 1/3″ slices, discarding ends.

In a large non-stick skillet, brush the surface with the olive oil.  Heat oil until hot and then lay the yam slices in the skillet, do not crowd them.  Salt and pepper lightly.  Cook 2 – 3 minutes or until the underside starts to develop browning spots.  Flip and brown next side, salt and peppering lightly.  Even without a lot of oil, they will begin to brown because their natural sugars will start to caramelize.  When both sides have been browned, pour about 1/2 cup of water into the pan.  The pan should deglaze and sizzle.  Turn heat down to medium – medium high and cook water off, approximately 3 – 5 minutes.  Yams should start to brown up again, flip and add water.  Continue this process, flipping the slices each time until the yams are folk tender.  Cook off any remaining water and remove slices from pan.
Add the pat of butter and scrap up any bits that have caramelized in the pan.  When butter is melted and bits have been scraped up, pour the drippings over the yams.  This surprising little bit of butter and the browned bits finish this dish off perfectly and makes it taste like you have added much more butter than you did.  Enjoy!
Browned and ready to add water
Deglazing, flip slices and repeat till tender

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