In my book, you can't go wrong with coconut. It is amazingly versatile and I enjoy it in all its many forms, particularly rich and creamy coconut milk. This flavorful side dish is ever-so-slightly adapted from a recipe in The Millennium Cookbook. Written by chefs at San Francisco's own upscale vegan eatery, Millennium Restaurant, this cookbook is one of my all-time favorites. I've had my copy for 6 years and it's splattered and sticky from all the times I've used it [I am not a neat cook. At all.] All the recipes I loved best in this book before going GF happen to be gluten-free or easily adapted. These yams are truly addictive. They are a beautiful bed for a filet of fish, and a perfect complement to Caribbean-inspired dishes such as jerked meat or tempeh. I've even been known to eat the leftovers cold, straight from the refrigerator!
Note: What is referred to here as a "yam" is actually technically the Garnet variety of "sweet potato" (bright orange flesh, dark orange skin). A lot of Americans, including myself and the authors of this cookbook, use the two interchangeably and inaccurately.
COCONUT MASHED YAMS
2 large garnet yams, peeled
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup coconut milk (light or full-fat, no sugar added)
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Heat oil in small saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and thyme and saute until the garlic is golden. Remove from heat.
Slice the yams into 2-inch cubes. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add the yams and boil for 15 minutes or until the yams are soft. Drain in a strainer and then return to pot. Add sauteed garlic and remaining ingredients. Mash until creamy, using a potato masher. Serve hot.