Candied Yams with Bacon Pecan Syrup

Candied-Yams-Feat

This candied yam appetizer will be a hit at your holiday table -- its almost like starting with dessert. This recipe appears in the "Love Me Some Candied Yams" episode of A Chef's Life, featuring chef Vivian Howard.

Yield: 4-6 servings

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Ingredients

  • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled & sliced into 1½-inch-thick rounds
  • Canola oil for frying
  • Salt
  • For the Pecan Bacon Syrup:
  • 2 cups bacon, cut into small dice
  • 2 cups pecans, chopped
  • ²⁄³ cup sliced scallions (white part primarily), plus more for garnish
  • ²⁄³ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 ¹∕³ cups maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp. chile flakes
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. butter

Directions

  1. In a large pot, boil sweet potatoes until just tender. Allow slices to cool completely. Then press them between 2 pieces of parchment paper or foil, working in batches, so the slices flatten slightly and the edges spread. This can be done up to 2 days ahead. To finish, fill a deep skillet with an inch of canola oil and heat until shimmering. Fry sweet potatoes for about 4 minutes on each side, or until browned and crispy. Drain on paper towels, and season generously with salt. To serve, stack sweet potatoes, top with syrup, and garnish with sliced scallions.
  2. To prepare the syrup:
    Heat skillet over medium and render bacon until almost crispy. Add pecans and scallions, and toast for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer until mixture has reduced by about one-third. Whisk in butter just before serving.
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