Nigerian Yam Bake with Cheese & Bacon

This rich and creamy yam bake is perfect for the winter as it is so comforting with warm melty cheese and full of flavour from the smoked bacon, chicken and sautéed onions, garlic and pepper coated in cream. The star of the dish is obviously the humble Nigerian Yam.

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Ingredients (Serves 4)

1 medium tuber of yam

200g diced pancetta or smoked bacon lardons or chorizos

2 smoked chicken breasts (can substitute with plain cooked chicken breasts)

1 medium shallot, coarsely chopped (can substitute with a medium white onion)

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 or 2 scotch bonnet peppers, sliced

2 tsps sweet paprika

1 tbsp olive oil

150ml double cream

50g grated Gruyère cheese

1 tsp of old bay seasoning (can use all purpose seasoning or 1 stock cube)

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley (for garnishing)

1 spring onion, thinly sliced (for garnishing)

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°, generously butter a baking dish.
  2. Slice the yams, peel the skin, cut into cubes and wash thoroughly.
  3. Place the yams in a saucepan, add enough water to cover the yams and boil for about 7 minutes, take off the heat and drain the excess water.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and pan fry the pancetta or bacon for about 5 minutes until starting to crisp. Put aside
  5. Add garlic, shallots and pepper to the same pan, cook for 3 minutes, season with paprika and old bay seasoning, add cream, cook for an additional 3 minutes and then set aside.
  6. Combine ingredients in large baking dish. Sprinkle the cheese on top.
  7. Bake, uncovered, until the cheese is melted, bubbling and starting to brown a little, probably 10-15 minutes.
  8. Remove the yam bake from the oven and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Top with spring onion and parsley, and then serve

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