It’s the summer, and you’re probably enjoying your share of ice cream, hot dogs, burgers and fries? The latter is one of my favorite fried foods, which is a popular indulgence for so many. When they come in the form of my favorite vegetable, I’m absolutely sold. If I see them on a menu, sweet potato fries are my side dish of choice. The only caveat is the they must be perfectly crispy and served with a unique sauce. Because sauces, dips and spreads are, in my opinion, the best way to transform everyday dishes into something noteworthy. Pair a really good sweet potato fry with an excellent condiment like muhammara, and it’s game on.
Alexia Foods recently launched two new flavors, one of which is based on my beloved little sweet potato. Now, you can find Organic Savory Spice Sweet Potato Fries exclusively at Whole Foods. The name’s a bit vague, I know, but the flavor on these skin-on sticks should let you know what’s going on. Cumin, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, cayenne, allspice, coriander, paprika and cloves…flavors from the souks of Morocco. Morocco–a destination which just happens to be in the top five list of countries I can’t wait to visit. Maybe I’m biased to favor this flavor, which is warm, earthy and a bit spicy. Bias or not, those elements are ones that I like no matter how they end up on the plate. Another plus is Alexia Foods’ stamped and approved guarantee that these fries are a verified non-GMO product. Their entire line will be GMO-free by the end of this year, which is a commendable effort on behalf of a corporation.
Pairing these fries with muhammura felt like the way to go. The traditional Syrian condiment boasts a natural richness and depth thanks to toasted walnuts, roasted red peppers, and spices like smoked paprika, cumin and spicy red pepper flakes. The key ingredient is pomegranate molasses, which is naturally sweet and sour. The pomegranate molasses, along with lemon, lighten the load, if you will, and add a pleasantly light tang to the muhammara. The addition of extra fat from mayonnaise will tame the the heat, as well as provide silky, creaminess to the final sauce.
One of the last times I worked with Alexia products, beer was involved–a dinner party featuring multiple courses paired with beer. This time, how about a glass of wine? The flavors of Moroccan food can pair well with a dry riesling, zinfandel or pinot noir. Either one would be a fine match for these fries and a bowl of creamy muhammara on the side. Add this dip to your roster of quick and easy recipes, whether you’re noshing on fries or not. It’s just as delicious with crudité and pita, slathered on a sandwich or tossed over warm pasta, and you can make it completely plant-based by using vegan mayonnaise.
- 3/4 cup walnut halves, toasted
- 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 16 ounces roasted red peppers, drained
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- Zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- Place the walnuts and garlic in a food processor, and blend until finely crumbled. Add roasted peppers, and continue blending.
- Add the pomegranate molasses, lemon zest and juice, paprika, cumin and red pepper flakes. Blend until incorporated.
- Drizzle in olive oil until smooth, then add the mayonnaise. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Disclaimer: Alexia Foods provided product and compensation in exchange for this blog post and review. All opinions are my own.