Friday recipe: sriracha-cha-cha sweet potatoes

If you follow the Friday recipe blog at all, you know what hot-and-spicy foods addict I am. I’m not too proud to admit, for example, that I’ve sauteed vegetables in the juice from a jar of jalapenos. In my opinion, it’s a rare food that can’t be improved with a squirt of Tabasco and several twists of freshly ground black pepper or cayenne. And among the greatest nectars of the gods is sriracha sauce, the hot chili paste familiar to most Americans in the squeeze bottle with the rooster on it.

Behold the royal rooster. Photo: Lynda Balslev

That’s why I find myself of like minds with freelance food writer/blogger Lynda Balslev, who revealed her own sriracha addiction in a recent article posted on National Public Radio. She considers sriracha on a slice of bread to be a great snack, and she once found herself squirting the wondrous red concoction on dark chocolate. She offers several great recipes featuring sriracha: marinated roast chicken with root vegetables, salmon and kale wraps, beer-and-sriracha-marinated beef lettuce cups, a hearty and healthy chili, and the tasty sweet potato dish below.

Spicy sweet potato fries with sriracha dipping sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into large batons, 1/4-inch by 2 inches
  • 1 teaspoon each cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt and freshly ground black pepper

Dipping sauce (makes one cup):

  • 1 cup Greek-style yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk olive oil and sriracha together in a small bowl. Pour over sweet potatoes in a large bowl and toss to coat. Combine cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add spice mixture to potatoes and toss to coat. Arrange potatoes in one layer on an unoiled baking sheet. Bake on lowest rack 10 minutes. Turn potatoes with a spatula and bake 10 more minutes, or until golden brown on all sides.

While potatoes are baking, whisk dipping sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Remove potatoes from oven and serve with dipping sauce. The sauce is also delicious as a dip for bread and raw vegetables.

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