My favourite side at our local rib joint is the sweet potato chips. Not to be confused with sweet potato fries, these are the sibling to the classic potato chip, just in a sweeter, more orange form. While they pair theirs up with a yummy onion dip, I took it a bit further and made a full-on caramelized onion dip to enjoy them with.
Since I made doughnuts earlier in the week, I wanted to use the oil a bit more before wrapping up ‘Deep Fry Fest 2015’. Plenty of ideas went through my mind; more doughnuts, samosas, fried chicken… but in the end, all I wanted were some crispy, salty sweet potato chips.
I selected 2 sweet potatoes which weren’t too wide (keeping in mind they would shrink down to about 50%) and sliced them very thinly using my ceramic slicer (I got this one from Epicure Selections, I’m not sure if it’s still available or not).
When my pot of oil reached a steady 270 degrees, I fried the potatoes a batch at a time for a few minutes, until bubbly and just starting to get colour (I over cooked my first batch… while they still tasted good, they weren’t very pretty). When done, I removed them with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined baking sheet with a cooling rack on top of it. I immediately sprinkled the chips with ground pink Himalayan sea salt and let them cool and crisp up. I think I had to fry up about 5 batches to use both sweet potatoes.
The dip was more time consuming than the chips. Based on an Ina Garten recipe, it’s simply two large yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced, slowly caramelized in 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup unsalted butter. To the onions you add 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp ground pepper. You should start the onions on medium high for the first 10 minutes and then lower to medium low and allow to cook down for 30-40 minutes… and don’t stir them too much. Once the onions have darkened and sweetened, add 1 tsp balsamic vinegar and 1 tsp Dijon mustard and continue cooking for about 10 minutes. While the onions are cooking down, blend together (a food processor makes fast work of this) 1/2 a cup each of cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise. Once the onions are done and mostly cooled, blend the two together (reserving some of the onions for garnish if you’d like). While best if allowed to sit in the fridge overnight before eating, no worries if you want to dive in right away (I know we did).