Neal Fraser of Redbird is one of L.A.'s better-known chefs, and he's sharing a delightful fall dish with us that would be perfect for Thanksgiving. The recipe uses "sweet potatoes" and "yams" interchangeably, so go ahead and use whichever looks better at the store. It calls for three small yams to make a main dish, so feel free to increase as needed — it'd be a fun side.
"Baharah" means "spice" in Arabic, and is used to refer to a common spice blend. If you make extra, keep it on hand to season any kind of heavy dish.
Caramelized Honey Syrup
¼ cup honey
¼ cup sherry vinegar
1 tbsp Aleppo chili
1 tbsp black pepper, ground
1 tbsp cumin, ground
2 tsp coriander, ground
1 tsp cloves, ground
½ tsp cardamom, ground
1½ tbsp paprika
1 tsp cinnamon, ground
¼ tsp nutmeg, ground
To taste benne seeds (substitute sesame seeds if unavailable)
To taste flax seed
To taste benne oil (can substitute a 50/50 blend of olive oil and toasted sesame oil)
To taste chives, chopped
To taste Maldon sea salt
To taste Baharat
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3 baby yams, 2 sides cut flat (see below)
Olive oil as needed
Salt & pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
Cut a 1/4” sliver off of each yam to expose the flesh and so that there is a flat “top side” and “bottom side.”
Brush both sides with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and lay on a sheet tray.
Roast the sweet potatoes for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender.
Season the sweet potatoes with salt again, after they come out of the oven. Let cool down to room temperature.
Once cool, grill slow over charcoal until caramelized on both sides. Glaze lightly with honey syrup.
Pool some of the honey syrup in the bottom of a bowl and place the yams over top.
Top with a generous amount of your garnishes and enjoy.