Monday, February 25, 2013


I love a good fritter, and after making chili-lime roasted squash salad recently, I’ve been intrigued by the combination of spicy southwestern flavors with sweet orange root vegetables, so when I saw this recipe at Budget Bytes, I…bit.

I halved the recipe because it promised to make a ton, and leftover fritters are never quite as good. Since it’s difficult to halve an egg, I took the suggestion from the original recipe to increase the breadcrumbs a bit, but maybe I needed to increase them more or maybe I had a bit too much sweet potato, because they turned out slightly damper than I think they were intended to. No big deal; I just had to dollop them into the pan rather than forming them into patties first, they were a little more difficult to flip, and they didn’t get quite as crisp as I’d hoped. The flavor, however, was spot on. Taking inspiration from the chili-lime squash, I added some chipotle chili powder, and the smokiness was a perfect foil for the sweetness of the potato and corn. And ironically, we still had some leftovers, and when I heated them up in a dry skillet the next day, that second frying dried them out a bit and achieved the crispy texture I’d been hoping for the first time around.

I served black bean salsa on the side because I thought it would be a great combo (which it was), but the fritters were much more filling than I expected, so really, a small green salad is probably all you need to accompany these. 

A isn’t a huge sweet potato fan (except in fry format), and he doesn’t usually like yogurt, but we both enjoyed these bold, colorful, and hearty patties with their creamy, garlicky sauce (to which I might add a bit of lime juice next time, to liven things up even further) as a fun and different addition to our fritter rotation.

1½ pounds sweet potatoes
½ cup frozen corn kernels
1 green onion, sliced
2 large handfuls (or to taste) chopped fresh cilantro, divided
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
¾ cup panko
1 egg
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 small clove garlic, minced

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the potatoes, prick them all over with a fork, and place them on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes. Remove potatoes from oven and let cool until they can be handled, then cut them open and scoop the flesh into a large bowl, discarding the skin.

2. Add the green onions, 1 handful cilantro, frozen corn kernels, salt, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper to the bowl with the cooked sweet potatoes. Stir until well combined.

3. Add the cornmeal, panko, and egg to the bowl. Stir until evenly combined. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to absorb moisture.

4. While the sweet potato mixture is refrigerating, mix up the garlic yogurt sauce. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, garlic, and a handful of chopped cilantro leaves. Stir until combined and then refrigerate until ready to serve.

5. After the sweet potato mixture has refrigerated, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil and heat until the surface appears wavy. Shape the sweet potato mixture into small patties (about 2 to 3 tablespoons each) and cook about 4 at a time in the hot oil. Cook until golden brown on each side, about 5 minutes per side. After cooking, drain on a paper towel-covered plate and then transfer to a cooling rack. Add 2 more tablespoons oil to the skillet and repeat with remaining sweet potato mixture.

6. Serve warm with the garlic yogurt sauce.

Serves: 2–3
Time: 2 hours
Leftover potential: OK. Leftover fritters can be revived by heating in a dry skillet on the stovetop over medium heat until warmed through and crisp on both sides. (If you want, you can heat them for 30 seconds or so in the microwave first to ensure that the centers are warm.)

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