What is the difference between a sweet potato and a yam?
Several decades ago when orange flesh sweet potatoes were introduced in the southern United States producers and shippers desired to distinguish them from the more traditional white flesh types. The African word “nyami” referring to the starchy, edible root of the Dioscorea genus of plants was adopted in its English form, “yam”. Yams in the U.S. are actually sweet potatoes with relatively moist texture and orange flesh. Although the terms are generally used interchangeably, the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires that the label “yam” always be accompanied by “sweet potato.”
Chili-Glazed Pork With Sweet Potato Hash
1 pork tenderloin (about 1¼ lb)
1 Tbs plus 1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
kosher salt and black pepper
2 Tbs pure maple syrup
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 lb), peeled
2 large shallots, chopped
5 oz package baby spinach, chopped
hot sauce (optional)
Heat broiler. Place the pork on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Rub with 1 teaspoon of the oil, the chili powder, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Broil, turning occasionally and basting with the maple syrup twice, until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
Meanwhile, in a food processor fitted with the coarse grating disk, grate the sweet potatoes.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and cook, tossing occasionally, until tender, 7 to 9 minutes more. Add the spinach and cook, tossing, until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes more.
Serve the pork and potatoes with the hot sauce, if desired.
Grating the sweet potatoes in a food processor will yield long, pretty shreds for the hash. If you don’t feel like pulling out your machine, use a box grater. But keep in mind that the potato pieces will be shorter and will require slightly less cooking time.