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The Watchamacallit Recipe

August 30, 2011

We came across this recipe in a previous issue of the Food Network Magazine; it was part of their “Name this Dish” contest. As of today, they still haven’t selected a winning name for the dish, and as you can tell from what we’ve titled it, we haven’t really put any energy into thinking up a creative name ourselves. But what’s in a name anyway? The dish is a fabulous snack or side dish, featuring tasty flavors from Southeast Asia. We recommend the Alexia brand of sweet potato fries, but any brand should do fine (or if you’re feeling like you have a lot of time on your hands, make your own). The sauce is a little sweet and a little spicy, and the lime juice adds some nice acidity. The bacon provides a nice salty component, but feel free to omit it – yes, I actually said that omitting bacon was ok (I’m fine, really) – because the fish sauce contains a good amount of salt already. The fried onions add some crunch, and the cilantro leaves a nice freshness on the plate. We served these with a Thai salad (lettuce, tomato, carrots, hard-boiled egg, cilantro, chopped peanuts and peanut dressing) for a deliciously complete meal. The Food Network contest is over, but we can have our own – let us know if you can think of a good name for this dish. Enjoy!

Southeast Asian Sweet Potato Fries

1 16-to-20-ounce bag frozen sweet potato fries

3 strips bacon

2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon fish sauce

2 teaspoons Asian spicy chili sauce (such as Sriracha)

1 ½ tablespoons lime juice

½ teaspoon grated lime zest

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

¼ cup prepared fried onions or fried shallots

Bake the sweet potato fries as the label directs. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels, then chop into small pieces. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the brown sugar, fish sauce, chili sauce, lime juice, and lime zest to the drippings. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Transfer the fries to a serving dish. Drizzle with the chili sauce mixture, then sprinkle with the bacon, cilantro and fried onions. Eat!

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