Thursday, July 15, 2010

Product review and new love: McCain and Ottolenghi Sweet Potato

I have a new love.  It's Ottolenghi, or Ottolenghi The Cookbook, to be precise.

Together with their new book, Plenty, the brains behind the Ottolenghi restaurants in the UK have come up with a foolproof and undeniable way for us to eat more vegetables.  The books are so colourful, and the recipes look so fresh, uncomplicated and downright unresistable that I challenge anyone not be be tempted.

The opportunity to make something from the book came about when I was asked to try the new McCain Sweet Potato SuperFries*.  I must say, the fries are pretty good on their own, and a nice alternative to normal spud chips.  What I did was adapt this Ottolenghi recipe for Sweet Potato with Cashews and Honey, replacing the sweet potato pieces with the crinkle-cut fries (and honey for maple syrup, and cashews for pecans).  It's a lovely way to devour the fries - popping the sweet potato fries into the honey vinegar dressing with a scattering of cashews and sultanas is ambrosial. 

Sweet Potato Chips with Cashews and Honey
serves 4 as a side dish

400g sweet potato fries (or 400g sweet potato, cut into 2cm chunks)
20g cashews or pecans, roughly chopped
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
15g sultanas
salt and pepper

2 tblsp olive oil
1 tblsp honey or maple syrup
1 tblsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 tblsp lemon juice
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
salt and pepper, to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F.  Roast the sweet potato fries in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until they are tender.  If using sweet potato pieces, coat the potatoes in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper before baking.  Keep an eye on the fries to ensure they don't burn or get too brown.
2.  Make the dressing by whisking the dressing ingredients together in a bowl.  Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
3.  When the potatoes are ready, transfer them to a large bowl while still hot, and mix in the chilli flakes, cashews and sultanas, and stir to combine.
4.  Pour over the dressing and stir gently.  Sprinkle over the spring onions before serving.

Recipe adapted from Ottolenghi The Cookbook

The sweet potato fries are good as is, or add some sultanas and greenery for even more eating pleasure.  I used the crinkle cut chips in this recipe although the thin cut fries would also be good.

The sweet potato chips absorb the honey dressing when they are still hot.  The dish can be served warm, or at room temperature.

*  Thanks to Sophie at Fleishman Hillard for providing the sample of McCain Sweet Potato SuperFries.  More information on the fries is available at the McCain website.


  1. This is already a second sign that I need to get my hands on that cookbook... I don't think I need a third one, I'm convinced!

  2. Sweet potato fries! YUM... that sounds so moorish.

  3. That's a very inventive use for a product that I would probably have overlooked otherwise. I need to check out that cookbook too. This really looks delicious!

  4. Your adaption just sounds way better! Love sweet potato!

  5. This sounds like a wonderful and inventive recipe. I love how you were savvy enough to make the sub. Fantastic idea Bel!

  6. This looks soooo delicious! Win!

  7. This is so smart, Bel! You seriously upped a typical product. Sounds so good...

  8. That is a product I have never seen in the US. Am I going to have to move? GREG

  9. How could anyone resist their veggies when there are beautiful dishes like this around?

    I absolutely NEED that cookbook.

  10. I have heard a lot of good reviews about this ottolenghi cookbooks. Must buy! The chips looks good with the crinkle cuts :)

  11. Yummm this looks like the perfect snack while watching a movie! Honey makes everything better although I think I would still prefer without the sultanas

  12. This sounds like a really yummy way to cook chips! I've been meaning to try these sweet potato chips for a while ever since I first saw them but they're so expensive!

  13. There is something very enticing about the super crinkleness of the fries. Lots of bits to hold onto tasty dressings, methinks!