|Sweet Potato Buffalo Fries... because, yeah, that's a thing - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
Thanksgiving sort of ruined yams, in my opinion. How they got to become synonymous with being in a casserole dish, covered with marshmallows is beyond me. I blame the South, the Midwest, and the Flyover States in general for ruining a perfectly delicious spud, giving it the false beard of "appetizer" when it's really some unholy dessert in that terrible guise. So I thought I'd ruin yams in my own, special Wasabi-way, dousing it in Frank's Hot Sauce and sprinkled with crumbles of blue cheese. Totally unrelated to Thanksgiving, I just really wanted Buffalo Wings. Which, really, who doesn't? I also thought this would be a great Meatless Monday/Junk Food Binge meal. Who says vegetarianism doesn't have a naughty side? Nothing with a face went into this heaping pile of indulgence, so let this spicy, cheesy flavor-fest rock your vegetarian socks off.
|Cheesy spicy potato goodness - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
My second Fry Binge was with sweet potatoes. I told you, I crave French fries A LOT, so I like having some options to make those unreasonable food bargains with myself to pretend the food isn't as rich and naughty as it truly is. This fry-binge was inspired by that fabulous creation from Canada, poutine. If you've never had poutine, it's Mana from Heaven -- crispy fries doused with gravy and topped with squeaky cheese curds. I don't know the backstory over how poutine was invented. I'm guessing it was probably the result of a very drunk beer-soaked night, but much like our own US-equivalent of pile o' drunk food -- nachos -- it's a cure for what ails when there's too many ales. This version is meatless -- no gravy -- just a basic bechamel sauce. I added spice by seasoning the sweet potatoes with a mix of extra pepper and cayenne before they were baked. While the spiced sweet potato fries are roasting in the oven -- same temperature as the yam fries -- I use the stovetop to make the bechamel, which just a basic white sauce that I add a mixture of cheeses to towards the end. I added white cheddar and parmesan, but you can add whatever cheeses you like.
|How sweet it is - sweet potato fries with cheese sauce - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
So let the celebration of the holidays begin -- we can happily swaddle ourselves in heavy winter coats and Snuggies as we dig into all our favorite foods. At least until January first comes around and we can make all those pesky resolutions to eat carrot sticks for every meal.