Oven-baked Yam Fries

September 23, 2011

When a dish is easy to put together and the whole family loves it, there is really no reason not to make it…often.  That is how these yam fries became a staple in our diet.  They just seemed to be the perfect thing to accompany so many of our summer dishes.  The kids love them, because well, they contain the word “fries.” Of course, in reality they are baked and contain very little oil.  The roasting process makes them nice and crispy though and they are excellent dipped in ketchup or herb-blended oil, or my personal favorite, Chipotle Mayonaise.

Oven-baked Yam Fries are crunchy, slightly sweet, and salty, but have all the credentials of a very healthy side dish. If your experience with yams is limited to sweetened dishes (perhaps with marshmallows atop?), you should definitely try these. They are nothing like the signature Thanksgiving dish.  Slice the yams into wedges, toss in oil and salt, and bake until crispy.  This dish could not be easier and is incredibly adaptable.     They go very well with grilled meats.  I serve them with Fresh Ground Bacon Burgers or Southwestern Chicken Burgers.  They are incredibly addictive.  Watch out, you might be making them week after week as well!
What dishes have you loved this summer?

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Though brunch provides the allure of a relaxed meal to share with friends and family, casually sipping on Bloody Marys, the harsh reality is that someone has to get all the food ready to eat early in the morning.  Beside being insanely delicious and versatile, stratas assemble the night before, so serving a crowd in the morning is a cinch!  In our family, we routinely have overnight gatherings and I often make a strata.  All the work is done the day before.    Sometimes I even put the oven on delay start, so it will preheat while I sleep.  When I wake up in the morning with a house full of guests, all I have to do is slide the dish into the oven and make some coffee.

You can make a strata with almost anything.  The eggs and bread are standard, but the vegetables, cheese, or meat that you add are completely up to you.  Bacon Breakfast Strata happens to be one of my favorite combinations.  Brown off the bacon, saute the onion and mushrooms, then mix everything up with a pile of bread and cheese and pour egg and milk over the top.  It is easy.  The bread absorbs the egg and milk overnight and puffs up in the oven.  The interior texture is light and almost creamy, while the top browns and creates a cheesy crunch.  It is delightful.

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