We occasionally try to recreate good restaurant food at our house. The best example is probably eggplant business, since it's the most directly drawn from a specific dish, but there have also been a number of pasta experiments and at least one disastrous attempt at sesame tofu. That makes this one of our most successful attempts.
When we lived in Ann Arbor, we used to go to a vegetarian restaurant called Seva. It was a fine place for dinner, and an especially fine place for one particular appetizer: yam fries. Seva clearly dunked their fries quickly in oil, salted them, and rushed them out to the table in a basket lined with paper. Let's just say that we have a serious relationship with these yam fries and all their accoutrements, especially considering we no longer live in Ann Arbor and so can't just go get them. We had to make them.
We don't exactly have a deep fryer, or even enough oil to recreate one in a pan. We do have an oven, though.
where "yam" = "sweet potato" and vice versa
although I know this is not the actual case in scientific life
salt, pepper, maybe some cayenne
Get a big, serious knife and chop your sweet potato into good thick fries. Toss them in olive oil, season with salt, pepper, and cayenne, and toss them in the oven to bake. I generally go about 350F, but these are very flexible. Go check on them and flip them after about ten or fifteen minutes. Then continue to cook another five or ten minutes, or until everything is beautiful and golden-brown and crispy.
This sauce sounds horrible but is in fact one of the few viable/stomachable uses for mayonnaise ever. I found it out really coincidentally while watching the food channel at my grandparents' house. So there was one of those profiles of regional cuisines/products, this one of a little hot sauce company called Clancy's Fancy. I was not paying much attention until they decided to let us in on one of the main outlets for the sauce--Seva makes their yam fry dipping sauce by mixing it with mayonnaise. It had been totally infuriating not to know what was in that sauce. Now we knew the secret! Ha ha! The stuff was so good that we decided we didn't care if it was 90% mayo, and now continue to make it anyway.
big spoonful of mayo/soy mayo
hot sauce of choice
Mix. Use lots of hot sauce, so your mayo turns a brilliant salmon color. Dip in yam fries and eat.
You can also clearly use other things for dipping; this is the just the classic interpretation.
- hot mustard
- a real aioli
- malt vinegar
Seriously, though, try the sauce. It's clearly all the better if you can stand making your own mayonnaise. If you are like me, and get up at eleven o'clock on sunday to make these with a big pot of coffee for breakfast, homemade mayo may be less tenable. Don't worry. It will be fine.