The crew at Black Butte Ranch had a great couple of holiday weeks and as the dust settles it is time to play and create new ideas and recipes for the upcoming summer. Before we jump into some new recipes here is one of the more popular ones from our Christmas buffet last year, roasted yams with caramelized onions and a sweet nutmeg cream. This side dish is very easy to make, in fact the most difficult component to make will be the Nutmeg cream, which is a creme anglaise with nutmeg. When yams are in season they are full of sugars that are ready to create a nice crust and a sweet soft center. The use of fresh grated nutmeg is going to define this dish over anything else. Since the day I started cooking I have bought whole spices and a spice grinder and ground them as needed, they last a lot longer and the flavor is unmatched. If and when I make these again I will add pictures.
Nutmeg Creme Anglaise
1C Heavy Cream
1ea Nut of Nutmeg
2.5ea Egg Yolks
- Start by putting your cream on the stove over medium-high heat until it boils.While you wait for it to boil prepare and ice bath and set a clean (preferably metal) container in it, this is where you will strain your anglaise into.
- Remove the cream from the heat and grate 1/2 the nutmeg into it with a micro plane.
- Let stand while you mix your egg yolks and sugar.
- Using a heat proof spatula mix your egg yolks and sugar.
- Ladle a small amount of the warm cream into the egg mixture and stir immediately to incorporate. Add another ladle and stir.
- Take the egg mixture and dump it into the rest of the cream in the pot and return to the stove.
- If you have experience making anglaise you can use medium to high heat, if this is your first time I recommend low heat, if you loose your focus for a second on high you can curdle the eggs in the sauce.
- Stir the anglaise with a heat proof spatula until it visually begins to thicken. Pull the spatula out and draw a line using your finger and if it holds then the anglaise is done, if not then cook a little bit more.
- Once thickened pour through a chinois or china cap into the chilled pan on ice.
- While this cools, you can begin to prepare the yams.
Caramelized Onions and Roasted Yams
1ea Red or Yellow Onion
- Peel and large dice the yams, place in a container with cold water until.ready to roast.
- Preheat your oven to 350°
- Cut the ends off of your onion and then cut it in half and julienne.
- Place a skillet over medium heat and add the butter, once melted add the onions.
- Cook the onions until they begin to brown and the pan begins to show color, add a tablespoon of water to deglaze the pan and continue to cook the onions until they are the color of caramel.
- Once the oven has been preheated, drain the yams and toss with oil and S&P, dump the yams onto a roasting pan and place them in the oven.
- The yams will take about 45 minutes in a convection oven and a little longer in a conventional. Every 10 to 15 minutes you will want to open the oven and stir the yams around so they roast evenly.
- When you do this check the firmness of the yams, when done they will be very soft.
- Once the yams are soft add the caramelized onions and cook for another five minutes.
- Remove the yams from the oven after the five minutes and place them on a platter, Top with your nutmeg creme anglaise and enjoy!