Last year, my mom and I became owners of a local co-operative market in Buffalo. A co-operative business is where people can buy into the business to own a share. With this market in particular, you receive special discounts and support local farmers including organic and non-gmo based farmers. If you know me personally, you know I am all for every single part of that sentence.
Being winter here in Western New York, it is so much harder than it should be to buy locally grown produce and other goods. If there is anything I miss about summer, it is the stands that line the country roads with freshly picked vegetables and fruits, raw honey, and maple syrup. With this market, I am able to still support our local businesses and farmers even with snow on the ground and cold in the air.
A couple of weeks ago, I purchased this beautiful organic Garnet yam from the co-op. After being peeled free of it's dirty brown outer layer, it revealed to me the brightest orange I have ever seen. None of the photos below have been edited to adjust the orange tone. It truly is just that bright and powerful of a vegetable, which makes it look more appealing to stare at and even more appetizing to eat.
I knew I wanted to make the yam come to life in a new form, so I crafted this gluten free savory yam corn bread. It is extra rich and decadent, but still maintains being good for your body. I paired with a quick jam inspired by the sweetness of french onion soup, one of the winter classics. Berries, honey, almost anything can be made into a quick jam with the help of cornstarch. This jam won't last much longer than a few days though, unlike regular jam which can last for months. The flavor combination of these two is just magical. The warm cornbread with the cold jam suits a well balanced palate with a mix of different textures.
This recipe is dedicated to that lovely little market. I urge you to try and find your best ways to support your local businesses because our economies would be lost without love for your mom and pop shops. Instead of WalMart, try local next time.
Gluten Free Savory Yam Cornbread with Sweet French Onion Quick Jam
// Cornbread //
- 1 Organic Garnet yam
- 1 1/2 cup of cornmeal
- 1 cup of oat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 Organic brown egg
- 1/2 cup of apple juice
- 1 cup of buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons of organic melted butter
- 3 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons of organic sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh cracked black pepper
- 3 green onions
- 2 tablespoons of cilantro
- 2 cloves of minced garlic
// Jam //
- 1/2 teaspoon of grape seed oil
- 1 small white onion
- 1/2 teaspoon of rosemary
- 1 tablespoon of Organic white sugar
- 1 tablespoon of sweet white wine
- 1/4 cup of apple juice
- 1 tablespoon of corn starch
- Preheat the oven to 425'F. Cut the yam into small chunks, about 1/2 inch size cubes. They don't need to be perfectly square, just roughly the same size to ensure even cooking. After the yam is diced, place all of the cubes into a pot with water to cover. Boil them over high heat for approximately 15 minutes until they are soft enough to stick a fork through.
- While the yam is cooking, begin dicing & gathering the rest of your needed ingredients. For the jam, the onion is sliced into three sections horizontally and then sliced into thin strips from there. You really want the onion to be relatively small. The green onions are cut on a long bias simply for looks and the cilantro and rosemary should be chopped finely.
- Drain the yam from the pot when it is done. Puree the yam using a blender or food processor until completely smooth. If you find it is a little difficult to get them to properly blend stir them around and try pulsing. If that doesn't work, add a tablespoon of water which will definitely help. Set the puree aside.
- In a large bowl whisk the cornmeal, oat flour, sea salt, and baking powder together. Stir in the egg, melted butter, apple juice, and buttermilk. Finally, add in the maple syrup, condensed milk, black pepper, green onions, garlic, cilantro, and yam puree. Mix until fully incorporated.
- Butter the bottom and sides of your cast iron skillet. Pour the cornbread mixture into the pan and bake in the oven for 20-40 minutes depending on the thickness of your bread. Check the bread with a tooth pick.
- While the cornbread is baking, we can begin our quick french onion jam. In a small sauce pan, heat the grape seed oil over medium high heat. Saute the onion until they begin to caramelize and turn golden brown. Stir in the sugar and the rosemary. Once the sugar is melted, deglaze the pan with the white wine. If your would prefer not to use wine, you can substitute for more apple juice.
- Whisk the apple juice and corn starch together in separate vessel. Slowly whisk this into the onions after the wine has evaporated. It should start to thicken into a jelly consistency. When you are happy with the consistency, remove the quick jam from the heat and cool in the fridge in your container of choice.
- When the cornbread is done, also allow that to cool and properly set up for about 15 to 20 minutes. After both the bread and jam are cooled, you can serve & enjoy! This recipe would be a great option to serve along side chili or stew in these chilly weather patterns.