Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Yams To the Rescue!

"What's cookin'?" Jack asked as he came into the kitchen, "What ever it is, sure smells great!"

"An experiment..." I paused to look up at his face, "an experiment in pork chops."   My favorite guinea pig nodded and smiled.  His faith in me a restorative to my sagging spirits.  See, things had been going horribly wrong up to that point.

True, the pork chops, garlic, onions, apples and green peppers were filling the apartment with a wonderful fragrance....but the rice had already gone awry turning into a starchy ball of yuck before my eyes. Neither of us was in the mood for grits, again.  Noodles? Spuds?  Hmmmm. 

I was on the verge of giving up when he stopped by. 

I looked up from my handiwork, hoping I could live up to Jack's confidence in me.  "Well, the pork should be good at any rate. But I'm thinking of a  couple of alternates for side dishes.  Sorry. I know you wanted rice."

"Anything you do will be fine," he said, patting me on the head. "just no potatoes. Okay?"   Well, I thought, scratch that idea!  I looked around the kitchen.  What to do? What to do?
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My eyes fell apologetically on the basket of potatoes...
"Sorry guys," I quipped, "he's just not that into you."

But....there in that same basket lay the meal's salvation.  Yams!  Beautiful, flavorful, colorful Yams!  They would be a perfect compliment to the Pork Chops and Apples!

Suddenly my sinking heart was soaring skyward!  Those wonderful red gems, so often relegated to holiday side dishes or hidden in pies, these humble beauties would bring this meal home!  I grabbed a couple out of the basket, looked at the clock and commenced with the preparations.
There wasn't time for anything fancy, and at this point I wasn't in the mood.   There wasn't a lot of time, so what ever did would have to be, as we say in the computer geek world, "quick and dirty."

A simple thing, really....made even easier by the invention of the microwave.    
MICROWAVE?!!?  Yes.  Considering how long it would take to cook 'em via the more traditional route, the microwave was the only way to have everything finish at the same time. Sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

So after a good scrub, I scored each tuber with an "X" on two sides, set them on a paper towel in the microwave to cook on high for five minutes. After that, I flipped them so the underside was on top and let them cook for another five minutes on the same high setting.  The flipping is important.  It insures everything is done evenly, and keeps the texture from getting what I call "microwave weird."

While they were being zapped,  I finished the chops then got everything ready for service by putting some of the apples, onions, garlic and green peppers around them. Of course a few stray bits made their way on top of the chops too, Made for a better presentation. Then I buttered the yams, added some lettuce and tomato slices to the plate called Jack in for dinner.  Boy, was he happy!

From disaster to dinner in ten minutes flat!   Whew!
I'll be blogging the pork chop recipe soon, just wanted to get this yam thing out right away.
If you have any suggestions, ideas or comments feel free to submit them!