Sweet potatoes are an undeniably seductive vegetable with the fascinating ability to become crunchy or silky smooth with alternate preparations. Wearing both sweet and savory masks, they can switch between the dessert course or an entrée with delicious ease. My husband might be the only one who disagrees. he can’t help but feel vaguely uncomfortable at the taste of a vegetable possessing such honeyed qualities. These fries though, are an exception for him, bright rust-colored spears with a spackling of Latin spices and hints of spiciness on the fries and in the incomparably wonderful dip. Smoky chipotle, that overly trendy spice, has found a perfect relationship with the sweet, earthy stability of the sweet potato. Brightened by the excitement of lime juice and slivers of scallion, I have used this exciting dip in many scrumptious ways such as black bean burgers, a topping for the weeknight taco, and mixed with diced avocado. Pull out a tray and add a flashy bowl or even a chunky cup filled with the creamy dip and you have an appetizer or side dish that has taken only minutes of hand-on preparation.
Serves 4 as a hearty side dish, up to 8 as an appetizer
3 lbs. organic yams
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic, ground coriander, and black pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
Salt to taste, at least a tsp.
1/4-1/2 olive oil
1 heaping cup sour cream
3-4 green onions
1/2-3/4 tsp. chipotle powder
Preheat oven to 400°
1. Peel sweet potatoes (if needed) and scrub well. Slice into wedges and tumble into a baking tray.
2. Measure and sprinkle all the spices, salt, and oil on the sweet potatoes. Toss well.
3. Bake, stirring once or twice to eliminate sticking, for at least 45 minutes, or until tender, with the edges beginning to crisp. Alternately, you could singe the outsides under the broiler in the final 5-7 minutes, turning at least once.
For the dip…
1. Wash and finely slice the green onions.
2. Halve and juice the lime, straining out any seeds.
3. Put sour cream, chipotle powder, lime juice, and green onions into a bowl and whisk well. Chill until serving time.
Eat the sweet potatoes hot, warm, or even cold. But keep the dip cool!