Photo by Regina Charboneau
To try yams with cranberry chutney, click here for the recipe.
I think most people would agree that the word "cranberry" conjures up thoughts of Thanksgiving dinner as much as the word "turkey." Although the Concord grape, blueberry, and cranberry are some of the fruits native to our North America, nothing seems to say "American Food" as much as the cranberry. I am not now, nor ever have been a fan of traditional canned cranberry sauce. However, I am a major fan of cranberries and lament the fact that they have such a brief season. Some of my favorite recipes utilize the fresh cranberry--cranberry-mango chutney and my favorite cake for the holidays, gingerbread cake with fresh cranberries folded into the batter.
Although in the South we use the words "sweet potato" constantly, most of the time we are referring to the Louisiana yam. Traditionally at Thanksgiving in the South yams are mashed with butter and brown sugar then to add to the sweetness topped with marshmallows. Personally, I never went for this over-sweet dish, but I always loved baked yams with butter and salt and pepper.
As my Thanksgiving menus evolved, one dish that is a standard at my Thanksgiving table is baked yams with cranberry chutney. I bake a yam and top it with sour cream then my cranberry-mango chutney. The chutney can be made ahead and can be frozen with great success. Baking yams is easy and they do not take that long to bake. This really sets off a plate, because it is so colorful. The chutney is a perfect substitute for cranberry sauce. When I make my cranberry chutney, I make enough for the whole year and can it and freeze it. It is so hard to find fresh cranberries after Thanksgiving, so I buy several bags and freeze them. The cranberry chutney is great with a pork roast in the dead of winter.