Sweet potatoes are in season and sweet potato fries are a delicious accompaniment to any great burger or steak. With a touch of garlic, onions, herbs and a little cheese you can satisfy your taste buds with both sweet and savory flavors with the tubers too.
Whether you harvest the sweet potatoes from your own garden and cure them or purchase them from your favorite farmer at your local market, this is a great recipe to use to incorporate locally-grown ingredients. Sweet potatoes also store well, so if you have an abundant supply, you can always keep them in a root cellar or cool storage at a temperature of 55 - 60 degrees to enjoy later.
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes or garnet yams (about 3 medium), scrubbed, unpeeled and cut into 1/4-inch-by-4-inch fries, soaked in ice water
Canola oil or vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces shredded fontina, for serving
You can also substitute a provelone, gruyere or gouda for fontina. Try AgriMissouri member Green Dirt Farm's Prairie Tomme cheese, which is similar to a gruyere or gouda, for a local twist.
For the caramelized onions: Heat the oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add the onions, vinegar, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deep golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Fries: Drain the potatoes and dry completely on a clean kitchen towel. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour enough oil to fill the pan about a third of the way. Heat over medium-high heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 375 degrees F. (If you don't have a thermometer a cube of bread will brown in about 5 minutes.)
While the oil is heating, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 2 1/2 cups water until smooth. Coat the potatoes in the batter. Transfer 8 to 10 potatoes to the oil, allowing any excess batter to drip back into the bowl. Fry until golden and crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.
For the sauce: In a small skillet, melt the butter over low heat. Add the thyme and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Pour the sauce over the fries and gently toss until coated.
Place the fries on a platter and spoon the onions on top. Sprinkle with fontina and serve immediately.
Recipe and photo courtesy of foodnetwork.com-Giada De Laurentiis.