Holiday weight gain is evil. Who’s with me? I try to avoid having “bad food” in the house, but that’s kind of hard to do if you’re a food blogger and enjoy baking. It’s even harder to do when friends and family are coming over and expect great food. So I’ve resorted to moving the jar of Nutella and the bag of mini marshmallows to the top shelf and I can only reach them if I move a chair over to the kitchen cabinet. I have loads of chocolate chips in a nifty glass container on the kitchen counter and I suspect that will be the next to go to the top shelf. You can probably sense a trend. I love my sweets. In fact, once I saw a nutritionist that called me a “sweet junkie.” Lovely.
You want to know what else is sweet? Well, not literally… Great segue, T. These yummy sweet potato fries and dip! Not only are these sweet potato fries spicy and delicious, but they are baked and crispy perfect! No frying here, my friends. I paired these savory treats with one of my favorite sauces ever, a cucumber yogurt dip (aka tzatziki sauce to my fellow Greeks).
Bear with me here, this one is a double feature. This is the first time I’ve ever done this, but the flavors of sweet potato fries worked so well with the guilt-free tzatziki that I just had to give them to you together.
Spicy Sweet Potato Fries Recipe
(About 4 servings)
- 4 to 5 sweet potatoes
- 2 to 3 tablespoons cornstarch (depending on how many sweet potatoes you use)
- 1/4 cup olive oil (See Note below)
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Cover a baking sheet with a silicon mat or tin foil. (They tend to stick to either foil or the pan due to the natural sugars in the sweet potatoes, so if you own a silicon mat I highly recommend it for this one.)
- Peel and cut each sweet potato lengthwise. (Note that you can make them as thin or as thick as you like, but keep them all the same size or you’ll end up with some raw and others burnt. If you cut them thicker than mine, then you may need to keep them in the oven longer, depending on how done you like them.)
- Toss the sweet potato wedges in cornstarch. The goal is to lightly coat them.
- Toss the sweet potato wedges in olive oil.
- In a small bowl combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt
- Season the sweet potato wedges with the spices.
- Lay the sweet potato wedges in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake them for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp (flip the sweet potato wedges about half way through the baking time).
Cucumber Yogurt Dip (Tzatziki Sauce) Recipe
(Makes about 2 cups of dip)
- 2 cucumbers
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 16 ounces of Greek yogurt (fat free, 1% or 2%)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (See Note below)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Peel the cucumbers. Then cut them in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.
- Grate the seeded cucumber pieces, using a fine grater.
- Lay the grated cucumbers in between paper towels and gently press down to remove as much water as possible.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the prepared cucumbers, minced garlic, yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, dried dill, pepper, and salt.
The sweet potato fries are best if served immediately. Store the cucumber yogurt dip in the refrigerator.
* Note, you can use vegetable or canola oil (for the sweet potato fries or dip), but I tend to use olive oil with 99% of my cooking.
I don’t own a fryer. If I did then I’m fairly certain that I would turn into a doughnut because I’d probably eat my weight in fried doughnuts. While I’m sure that would be a tasty adventure, I’m also sure that won’t help me lose those pounds I was grumbling about earlier.
I’ve baked sweet potato fries in the past and unfortunately, they came out limp and soggy. Gross. (As noted by the fact that this is the first post on this blog about sweet potato fries.) If this has happened to you then you probably didn’t do anything wrong. Sweet potatoes have a lot of moisture in them so it’s hard to get them crispy in the oven (unless you like burnt fries).
Cooking Tip For Crispy Sweet Potato Fries: Gently coat the raw sweet potato slices in cornstarch. The cornstarch will soak up some of the water that comes out of the sweet potatoes during the baking process which will in turn help give you crispy fries.
This cucumber yogurt dip is thick. Before grocery stores were stocked with loads of Greek yogurt options, my mom and I would strain plain yogurt overnight with a cheese cloth to remove some of the water from it in order to achieve a thick consistency. It was time consuming and annoying (and a little bit gross), but it was worth it. Thank goodness for the popularity of Greek yogurt because now I can whip this up in a few minutes!
You can’t beat homemade baked fries. They look rustic and imperfect, which I love. Baked sweet potato fries are delicious, but spicy ones are even better. These have just the right amount of kick to them. I always go for the crispiest ones first.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with sweet potato fries, but maybe you’ve never tried cucumber yogurt dip before. It’s a Greek sauce, traditionally served with souvlaki and gyros. It’s a creamy tangy sauce full of intense garlic flavors. The cucumber and dill add refreshing flavors and texture. I love it so much that I’ll pretty much eat it with anything else. In fact I’ve had the leftover sauce on crackers and a sandwich already.
This combo is amazing! The spices in the sweet potato fries pair well with the contrasting coolness from the dip. If you want to eat the spicy sweet potato fries with plain ketchup then I won’t judge you.
Hope you enjoyed this double feature. What fun things do you like to combine?
Spicy Sweet Potato Fries adapted from: Shutterbean
Cucumber Yogurt Dip (Tzatziki Sauce) adapted from: All Recipes
Here are some other tasty savory snacks.