Ore-Ida Sweet Potato Fries

A while back I told you about the sweet potato kick I was on a couple of years ago. I would make a sweet potato pound cake at least once a week. It was one of the first pound cakes that I perfected. From there I made sweet potato waffles, biscuits, pies of course, crusted and without. At least once a day I’d have a sweet potato and stir fry veggies for one of my meals. My family was all in but not me. Eventually the “I’ve got to have a sweet potato” everyday passion waned. Every once in a while I’ll jump on the bandwagon again, but not like before. I couldn’t understand why everyone else didn’t love them as much as I did. What’s not to love about a veggie that:

Provides over 8,800 IU of vitamin A or about twice the recommended daily allowance. Contains only 141 calories (3 ½ oz) and provides 42 %t of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C, 6 % of the RDA for calcium, 10 % of the RDA for iron, and 8 % of the RDA for thiamine for healthy adults. Is low in sodium and is a good source of fiber. They are a complex carbohydrate but has a lower GI than a white potato.

Imagine my delight when recently I got a chance to try Ore-Ida Sweet Potato Fries through the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program. When I was eating them regularly I never made fries, don’t know how that escaped me. It also blows my mind that for a while I was stymied as to how to use them. I knew that I wanted to use them as a sweet and savory dish. For the savory dish I finally decided on Taco Cheese Fries, which is like Chilli Cheese Fries without the chilli sauce. The pepper jack cheese I used has a bit of a kick, so if spicy isn’t your thing, just use all shredded cheddar cheese or cheddar and plain jack cheese. Trust me on this one, it’s good, and it takes hardly any time to pull together. I baked the entire bag of Ore-Ida Sweet Potato Fries at one time because I decided to do the sweet and savory dish the same day. I was in Sweet Potato heaven!!! Here’s the savory dish.

Sweet Potato Taco Cheese Fries
½ lb ground beef or turkey
1 pkg taco seasoning
2 oz shredded pepper jack cheese
2 oz shredded cheddar cheese
½ medium Vidalia onion, finely chopped
1 4oz can chopped green chilies

Place a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat and add the ground meat, seasoning , veggies and chilies to the pan and cook until brown, about 6-7 minutes, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks with a wooden spoon or large fork. Drain well. To serve, divide the fries between two plates and top each one with the seasoned meat and half of each of the cheeses.

Now to add a little more sweet to the sweet potato fries. The fries are so good on their own I didn’t want to doll them up too much. Hmmm, let’s see….how about a dip! Nothing wimpy and drippy, I envisioned something that was full bodied and not over the top sweet. Cream cheese to the rescue!!! Softened cream cheese with caramel ice cream topping and a couple tablespoons of powdered sugar, sprinkled with finely chopped milk chocolate. BAM!!!!

Caramel Cream Dip
4 oz cream cheese, softened
3 TBS powdered sugar
4 TBS caramel ice creamed topping, room temperature
2 oz finely chopped milk chocolate
Mint leaves (optional)

In a small bowl, mix cream cheese and powdered sugar with a whisk or use an electric mixer on low until smooth. Add caramel topping and mix until completely smooth. Place in small serving bowl and sprinkle with chopped milk chocolate. Garnish with mint leaves if desired. Serve with baked sweet potato fries.