Chef John Folse's Simple and Delicious Holiday Yams

Prep Time: 2 Hours

Yields: 6–8 Servings



Most holiday yam recipes contain numerous spices and a marshmallow topping. This recipe may seem much more boring, but even with fewer ingredients, these yams are magnificent.



8 small Louisiana yams, peeled

1 cup sugar

½ pound butter

1 tbsp pure vanilla extract



Yams should all be about the same size so they cook uniformly. Smaller yams are best for this recipe since 1 yam will serve as 1 portion. Place yams and sugar in a 12-inch diameter saucepot. Add 1½ quarts cold water. The very top of the yam should be exposed. Bring to a rolling boil then reduce to high simmer and cook 30–35 minutes or until yams are fork tender but not overcooked. Add butter and vanilla. Continue to simmer until a simple syrup is achieved and yams have absorbed most of liquid. Baste yams from time to time with simple syrup. Cook 30 additional minutes and serve 1 yam per guest with simple syrup.