1.5 lbs yams
1 lb sweet potatoes
2 Tbs dark brown molasses
1 mandarin, freshly squeezed
3 Tbs butter, melted
1 Tbs olive oil, optional
4 sprigs creeping red thyme, plus extra for garnish
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black peppercorns, freshly ground
Preheat the oven to 400°F
Wash the yams and sweet potatoes. Fill cold water in a pot until it barely touches the steamer level. Place the potatoes, bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a medium high. Steam for about 20 minutes. The potatoes should be fork-tender. Remove from the steamer. Let it cool down.
Peel the potatoes. Place them in a oiled baking tray. In a bowl, mix the butter, mandarin juice and 2 tablespoons of molasses. Drizzle with the butter/molasses mixture. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Remove the thyme leaves from the stem, then sprinkle all the dish. Drizzle some olive oil if the potatoes are not entirely coated.
Bake for about 20 minutes. When there's a nice brown crust, your potatoes are ready!
Transfer to a nice serving platter, garnish with sprigs of red creeping thyme and drizzle with the molasses-balsamic syrup.
I used the "full flavor" Brer Rabbit brand molasses.
I peel my potatoes with a Messermeister peeler. I think it's the best peeler. It's very sharp and make very thin peels. It's also very useful for food decoration.
It's ultra easy to remove the thyme leaves from the stem, hold the top of the stem with one hand and the other slides through the stem and pulls the leaves off. I like to bruise the leaves a little in a mortar and pestle to release all the flavor and make the dish more potent.