What is Kitchen Kreature?

Our small kitchen buzzes to life with activity when I come home. Food is sculpted from its raw shape into dices, slices, wedges, and purees. Flames dance off the range, heating sauces and vegetables and soups. Colors decorate the granite counter tops - slices of green avocado, chunks of yellow mango mixed with diced red and green bell pepper, and bottles of spices - dark red, brown, green, yellow, white - are lined up and ready for use. Aromas drift delicately through the house, teasing the senses and rousing the appetite. The sound of vegetables being chopped are like the heartbeat of the kitchen itself, sauces bubbling create an acoustic energy - the life blood of most recipes.

The kitchen allows one to fully be immersed in being "local" - buying from the farmer's markets and enjoying the bounty that grows around the neighborhood. Paradoxically, it also is a terrific way to travel. From the rawest ingredients, I can make a dish from east central Africa to accompany a National Geographic safari on TV, or put on some blues, light a candle, and cook up a classic and hearty creole platter.

This room embraces so much - art and creativity, travel and discovery, and the pure essence of being local. In this blog, I share my experiences and discoveries - the delights of the kitchen.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Yam Yum Recipe

There are two general categories of "healthy" foods - organic and local.  I am a big proponent of local.  It supports the farmer down the street, puts money back into the local economy, and - do I need to add this - FRESH!  These Yams are from Louisiana, but were sitting in a box in a Pennsylvania grocery store.  Even though they were delicious, I try to buy local products whenever practical.  If that is not possible, at least take note of where your food comes from.  Read the labels and see where those strawberries were grown and where the apples were picked.  The first step to buying local is to just be aware of the geography represented on your plate. Read more for the recipe....

2-3 large yams, peeled and sliced less than 1/2 inch
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 stick unsalted butter
2-3 full twists of coarse black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
1/4 cup maple syrup (medium or dark amber)

Melt the butter in a medium-size dutch oven, then add sliced yams, cream, pepper, salt and brown sugar.  Stir with wooden spoon, cover, and cook for 30 to 40  minutes under medium heat, occasionally stirring.  Yams are ready when they easily fall apart.  Mix in maple syrup and serve.

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