Wednesday, August 12, 2015

NEW RECIPE: Oven Sweet Potato Fries With Energy Drink Coconut Curry Sauce

Copyright 2015, Constantine William Spyrou. All rights reserved. 

About a year ago, I was shopping in Costco when I discovered a relatively new brand line of energy drinks called Bai5. They are low in calorie but very high in antioxidants, but also have a small amount of caffeine to jumpstart whoever drinks it. I tried some and really enjoyed it. Since then, Bai has been my go-to brand for energy drinks.

Bai also does several challenges for its community to come up with interesting recipes using its beverages, which is pretty exciting! Recently, they did a superfood challenge in which a Bai beverage and at least one superfood had to be used in the recipe. 

I opted for a pair of superfoods - sweet potato and turmeric - to help create a side dish I had made before - oven roasted sweet potato fries. These are a healthy and delicious combo that I prefer doing with Asian spice to give it a twist. These Asian-spiced spuds pair well with the coconut curry sauce, which uses some of the coconut Bai energy drink to lend coconut flavor and sweetness to the sauce, which makes it pair incredibly well with the sweet potatoes! I also added a cilantro oil at the end to spike up the aromatic flavors in this dish, making it well balanced! 

Recipe serves up to 8 people.

For the Sweet Potato Fries:

500 g sweet potato, cut into French fry shapes
500 g Japanese purple sweet potato, cut into French fry shapes
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 tbsp Himalayan Pink Salt
1/2 cup vegetable/avocado oil

For the Cilantro Oil:

1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup vegetable/avocado oil

For the Coconut Curry Sauce:

1/4 medium white onion, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp diced fresh ginger
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tbsp ground turmeric
2 tsp dried lemongrass
1 tbsp soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
1 cup coconut cream
1/2 bottle Bai5, Molokai Coconut flavor
1 cup water
Fresh cilantro to garnish


1) Warm the cilantro in the avocado/vegetable oil for 5 minutes without the oil starting to bubble or fry the cilantro. Let cool, then blend together, leaving small pieces of cilantro intact.

2) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

3) Blanch the sweet potato and Japanese sweet potato wedges in boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes. Drain, then lay out onto baking sheets.

4) Coat with the Himalayan salt, turmeric, ginger, and oil thoroughly. Bake for 40 minutes, turning the fries after 20 minutes.

5) Fry off the onion, ginger, and garlic in a small saucepan on medium heat with the olive oil until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the turmeric, curry powder, and lemongrass, and stir to combine.

6) Deglaze with the Bai and water, then also add in the coconut cream. Bring up to a boil, and reduce for about 15 minutes.

7) Add in the soy sauce and lime juice, cook for 30 seconds, then remove from the heat.

8) Plate the sweet potato fries with a bowl of the curry sauce, Garnish the sauce with fresh cilantro and drizzle the cilantro oil over the fries.

This dish has a tone going on thanks to the balance of sweet and spicy in the coconut curry sauce, but also the sweetness and aromatics from the sweet potato fries. That sweetness brings everything together to make a uniquely delicious appetizer!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Let me know what you think and what you would change. If you make it at home, let me know how it turns out! Enjoy! =)

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