Candied Yams with Orange Bitters or Oyster Chowder with Saffron Creme?

We have a twist on the classic Thanksgiving Yam dish and a throwback to the earliest American settles who would have had molluscs as a prominent feature on their Thanksgiving table due to its popularity at the time.

Candied Yams with Orange Bitters

Serves 6-8


1/2 cups orange juice

1/4  cup brown sugar

1/4  cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup orange bitters

1-1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 tsp salt

4-5  yams or sweet potatoes, unpeeled, cut into wedges (around 3 lbs)

1 teaspoon ground sea salt

1/2 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes

10 whole thyme sprigs including the leaves of 5 thyme sprigs

2 heads of garlic with skin left on and sliced in half


1. Make sure to preheat the oven to 425°F.

2. Prepare a 12 x 16 inch  roasting pan with foil or parchment

3. Pour the orange juice in a saucepan with the sugar and vinegar and bring to a boil over high heat. 

4. Immediately heat to medium-high and simmer fairly rapidly for about 20 minutes, until the liquid has thickened and reduced to scant 1 cup (about the amount in a large glass of wine).

5. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the bitters, olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

6. Place the potatoes in a mound in the centre of the lined baking sheet, add the chili flakes, the 10 thyme sprigs, and garlic halves, and then drizzle the reduced sauce over the mound.

7. Toss well to ensure the potatoes are coated and then spread the mixture out in a single layer on the sheet.​

8. Grind about 1 tsp of sea salt to taste over the wedges.

9. Place the baking tray in the oven and roast for 40 to 60 minutes making sure to turn and basting the potatoes every 15 minutes or so.

(They will need to remain coated in the liquid in order to caramelise, so if the pan is drying out too much you can add a little more orange juice).

10. When the dish is ready, remove the baking tray from the oven and leave to cool slightly before arranging on a platter and sprinkling with the fresh thyme leaves.

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Oyster Chowder with Saffron Creme and Homemade Oyster Crackers

Serves 8-10 

- RECIPE -  

Saffron Cream 

¼ cup white wine

1 pinch saffron threads

1 cup crème fraîche

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 pinch freshly ground black pepper


¼ cup peanut oil

¼ cup finely diced bacon

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup finely diced onion

1 cup finely diced carrots

1 cup finely diced celery

1 cup finely diced leeks

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

4 cups clam juice or fish stock

2 cups heavy cream

1½ cups finely diced potatoes

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 pints shucked oysters and their liquor saffron cream (recipe above)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, for garnish


Saffron Cream (Provides: 1 cup)

1. Heat white wine and the saffron in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until reduced by half, about 2 tablespoons.

2.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Remove and discard of saffron threads.

3. Whisk reduced wine into crème fraîche and season with salt and pepper.

4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


1. Heat peanut oil in a medium stockpot over medium-low heat.

2.  Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crispy, 5−8 minutes.

3. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, just until the mixture begins to turn a light golden color (about 5 minutes, be careful not to let the flour mixture burn or get too dark).

4. Mix in the onions, carrots, celery, leeks, and thyme. Cook for 5−7 minutes, stirring frequently.

5. Stir in the clam juice or fish stock and increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Add the cream and potatoes then  season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5−7 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

6. Stir in oysters and their liquor and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds, just until oysters are heated through then remove stew immediately from the heat.

7. serve the stew adding 1−2 tablespoons of the saffron cream and 1 teaspoon of chives to each bowl. 

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