Baked Yams with Spicy Tomato Sauced Pinto Beans and Caramelized Red Onions
September 26, 2011 § 4 Comments
On evenings when my mom and I were alone for dinner, a common meal was baked yams (often in the microwave) with butter and cinnamon. I often would add a handful of chocolate chips to mine and still call it dinner …(not sure if this would be news to my mom). Needless to say, I am fond of using yams in a simple sweet application.
Matt isn’t as smitten with sweetness in his meals. Occasionally he tolerates pancakes or cinnamon-sugar dusted oatmeal for breakfast, but he rarely puts up with a sweet component in lunch or dinner unless it is incredibly subtle. The sweetest component of this meal is the yam itself, and there are other flavors to balance it: the rich, meatiness of the beans. The spicy, acidity of the sauce. The caramelized onions didn’t need to be considered since I knew he wouldn’t be using them, but I was still concerned that the balance of flavor wouldn’t counter the sweetness of the yams. Still, he (almost) cleaned his plate; once he finished eating the beans with the yam flesh, he didn’t continue to eat the remaining flesh but he thoroughly enjoyed the combination of flavors.
The recipe that inspired this meal was posted at Sprouted Kitchen less than two weeks ago and I originally re-created it that very day. It is such a simple recipe, but I was instantly intrigued by the idea of loading up a yam like a traditional baked potato. Matt initially hesitated over the sweetness of the yams, but once he gave the go ahead we just needed a can of tomatoes and the yams to make this happen. I decided to replace the onion in the tomato sauce (the beans and tomatoes are called a “chili” in the original recipe) with a caramelized red onion to top the sauce. I also adjusted the spices because I didn’t have chili powder (I go through it so quickly), keeping it pretty simple but smokey. After we had the two remaining yams for leftovers, I was completely satisfied, yet disappointed that the recipe only served four. I can’t wait to make it again.
Baked Yams with Spicy Tomato Sauced Pinto Beans and Caramelized Red Onions:
adapted from Sprouted Kitchen
serves 4, or use smaller potatoes to serve more with a side salad. A quarter recipe is very filling.
– 1/2 lb dried pinto beans, soaked and cooked
– 4 small yams (3/4 lb – 1 lb)
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– 2 tsp cumin
– 1 tsp smoked paprika
– 1/2 tsp cayenne
– 1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
– 1 28 oz jar crushed tomatoes
– 2 red onions, thinly sliced+ 1 tbsp oil, 1 tbsp butter
– sour cream, cheddar cheese (grated), chives for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Scrub the yams clean, use a fork to poke wholes all over the yams to allow steam to escape while cooking, loosely wrap in foil and bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour, depending on the size, or until fork tender in the thickest part. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot and saute garlic and spices until aromatic. Add tomatoes and cooked beans, bring to a boil and down to a simmer and allow to reduce while the yams cook. Heat oil and butter for onions in a saute pan. Add sliced red onion and reduce heat to low. Allow onions to caramelize, shaking the contents of the pan very occasionally. When yams are fully cooked, slice down the middle and fluff the inside with a fork. Top each yam with a quarter of the bean mixture, a sprinkle of cheddar, a quarter of the red onion, a dollop of sour cream and garnish with chives.