A couple weeks ago, I had a rough day at work. I went to dinner at my friend Carly’s that night and she made these sweet potato fries with harissa feta dip.
The second I ate a fry covered in cheese, I felt a hundred times better. The spices warm you and the cheese dip is like a friend who will listen to you complain about the same problem thirty times. It’s patient, comforting and also a little zesty. Sometimes, you need some tough love.
The most difficult part of the recipe is cutting the potatoes into fry shape. I trust my knife skills (more or less), but I’ve always wondered how bloggers and home cooks get their fries to look like the ones you see in restaurants.
I watched this tutorial to try to achieve cut-fry perfection. You still might end up with some stragglers, but if you follow these directions, everything should turn out okay.
I told Carly that these are the kind of fries you’ll want shove into your face while sitting alone in a room. I didn’t bring the leftovers to work today for that very reason.
In other guilty pleasure news: I’m really, really into the new Ariana Grande album. I’ve always been a secret fan of hers, and I listened to some of her latest songs three times on repeat. This one is great for motivation, whether you’re cutting sweet potatoes into fries or bracing yourself for change.
Tandoori Sweet Potato Fries with Harissa Feta Dip (from Half Baked Harvest)
for the fries:
3 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch wide strips
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon saffron (optional)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on you taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt + pepper
chopped fresh cilantro + flaky sea salt, for serving
for the dip:
8 ounces crumbled feta cheese
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoon Greek yogurt
1-2 tablespoons harissa, homemade or store-bought (depending on you taste)
4 ounces brie, rind removed + sliced into 1/3 inch thick slices
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.Place cut potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with oil + melted butter. Add the Parmesan cheese, garlic, brown sugar, cumin, smoked paprika, ginger, cinnamon, saffron (if using), cayenne, salt and pepper. Gently toss with your hands or two spatulas to evenly coat. Spread the fries among two baking sheets in one even layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes, then flip and bake for 15-20 minutes more at 400 degrees F. You want the sweet potatoes to be crispy, but not burnt. If you want perfectly crisp fries I recommend spreading the sweet potatoes on a greased wire rack on top of a baking sheet and baking them as directed above. But this way is a bit of a pain.
While the fries are baking, make the dip. Add the feta, cream cheese and Greek yogurt to the bowl of a food processor. Puree for 2-3 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Add 1-2 tablespoons harissa (I used 2) and puree until evenly mixed. Spoon the cheese into a small oven safe dish. Place the brie on top of the dip. Place the dish on a small baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F. for 15- 20 minutes or until the cheese is hot throughout.
Remove the fries from the oven and sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro and flaky sea salt. Serve the fries warm with a dollop of cheese for dipping. Enjoy!