Last night, as I was taking a turkey out of the oven, it occurred to me that I had not prepared a side of any sort to go along with the roasted bird. I needed something that could come together while the turkey rested, and all I had was three yams.
If there is one reason to purchase a pressure cooker, it is to speed up the tuber-cooking process. Yams, as you probably know, do not usually cook super quickly, but applying a little pressure to them in our trusty ol’ pressure cooker lets you cook up a big pot of creamy orange mash in less than half an hour.
Every pressure cooker recipe needs at least a cup of liquid to help the device come to pressure, and I use heavy cream, because why would I choose another liquid when I have access to heavy cream? That, plus a stick of salted butter — did I stutter? — is all you need to make this rich, warming side dish. The yams cook right in the cream and butter mixture, meaning there is no cooking water, meaning not a single bit of tasty yam goodness gets washed down the drain. To make this velvety mass of mash, you will need:
1.4kg of yams, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 cup of heavy cream
1 stick of salted butter
Place everything in the insert of the pressure cooker and close it, making sure the release valve is set to “Sealing”, or equivalent setting. Press “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” and, using the “+” or “-” button, adjust the time to 11 minutes (or equivalent settings).
Once the cooking time has elapsed and the pressure cooker is shrieking at you, press “Cancel” and release the pressure manually by flipping the release valve. Open the pot, and gaze upon its contents in horror, for there will be little bits of cooked dairy, which will make things look like they’ve gone terrible wrong (they haven’t).
Don’t freak out, friend. Hit that mess with a blender — or just go at it really aggressively with a wooden spoon, and you will be rewarded with sweet, orange, silky wonderment that is somewhere in between a mash and a puree.
Spoon it into a serving bowl and top with toasted pecans, top it with marshmallows and get it under the grill, or eat it as is.