As featured in Forbes, Fast Company, The Guardian, Cosmopolitan, Greatist, Life Hacker and Dr Axe, Jen Miller of JenReviews.com has the authority on all things Food, Fitness and Home. Here she shares with us one of her favourite appetizer recipes for family gatherings, Sweet Potato Fritters with Pomegranate Syrup & Feta.
Growing up sweet potatoes were relegated to the Thanksgiving table, and often confused with the yam. Since then I’ve found a fondness for sweet potato as long as it was exclusively used in savory applications, no honey or brown sugar, please! That is until I found a way to pair them with spices that only plays with the idea of sweetness.
Playing with food is fun, and one of the greatest of ways is to turn that food into a crispy fritter. The flavors used marry together while the hot oil infuses them into the chosen main ingredient; grated sweet potato in this case. Most would go with herbs or just a simple salt and pepper seasoning, but because I wanted that idea of sweet without the sugar I used cinnamon and nutmeg for sweet warm flavors, and coriander seed and cumin for fresh earthiness. The combination of which becomes something that creates a craving for one more bite and a pomegranate fruit seemed like an ideal pairing to these tastes. Turned to a thick sweet syrup, the pomegranate turns this nearly into a dessert, begging to have a sweet whipped cream or honeyed yogurt to go with it. A crumble of salty feta, on the other hand, brings the dish back to an appetizer or luxurious snack. But really, it could easily go the other way if one was so inclined! These sweet potato fritters are so versatile it’s hard to choose how to present them most deliciously!
Sweet Potato Fritters with Pomegranate Syrup and Feta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
2 medium sized sweet potatoes
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground coriander seed
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon coarse salt
Crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cinnamon back
1 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Notes: These fritters can be made ahead of time and frozen for a couple of months. Follow all of the steps up until serving, and instead freeze them. Pop them back into hot oil to fry after thawing when ready to use.
STEP ONE – PREPARE THE FRITTER INGREDIENTS
Run cold water over the sweet potato to clean off any dirt or debris before peeling all of the outside skin and rinse again. Remove the peels from the onion and garlic cloves and cut off the root ends. Slice the onion thinly and then chop the slices into ½ -1 inch long pieces. Mince the garlic cloves and set them aside.
STEP TWO – GRATE THE SWEET POTATOES
Grate the sweet potatoes on the large hole of a grater.
STEP THREE – MIX THE FRITTERS
Place the sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, and flour into a bowl along with the cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander seed, cumin, and salt. Crack the eggs into the bowl. Stir it together until it comes to a thick mixture and everything is evenly distributed throughout.
STEP FOUR – HEAT THE OIL
Pour light cooking oil into a deep pan to about 1 to 1 ½ inches deep. Place the pan on a burner over medium-high heat and wait for the oil to reach about 350F, checking with a cooking thermometer. Alternatively, use a deep fryer, which has a temperature gage built in. If a thermometer isn’t available, drop a ½ inch cube of bread into the oil and if it turns golden brown in 30 seconds, it is hot enough.
STEP FIVE – FRY THE FRITTERS
Scoop up a spoonful of the sweet potato mixture and transfer it back and forth between two spoons to form a loose, but sticky, ball. Drop the sweet potato ball into the hot oil and let it cook through; about 3 minutes on one side, turn and 2-3 on the other.
STEP SIX – DRAIN FRITTERS AND SEASON WITH SALT
Transfer the finished fritter to a plate lined with paper towels and repeat with the rest of the fritters, cooking them in batches of 4-5 at a time. When the fritters are all cooked, sprinkle them with coarse salt and allow them to cool at least 5 minutes before serving.
STEP SEVEN – REMOVE SEEDS FROM FRUIT
Cut the pomegranate in half with a chef’s knife. Remove the seeds from one half of the pomegranate and put them in a bowl as you work. Transfer the seeds to a small saucepan and add in the sugar, cinnamon stick, and water.
STEP EIGHT – COOK THE POMEGRANATE SYRUP
Put the saucepan on the stove over high heat and bring it just to a boil. Turn the temperature down to medium-low and let it simmer about 10-15 minutes. It’s ready when the liquid has reduced by about half and the juices from the seeds have seeped out into the pan. Turn off the heat.
STEP NINE – STRAIN THE SYRUP
Pull the cinnamon stick out of the pan and discard it. Stir the cornstarch into the mixture and let it thicken. Strain the syrup through a mesh sieve and toss out the seeds.
STEP TEN – DRIZZLE FRITTERS WITH SYRUP AND FETA
Serve the sweet potato fritters with the pomegranate syrup drizzled over them, a crumble of feta, and additional pomegranate seeds from the other half of the pomegranate on top. As I mentioned above, these fritters can easily be turned into dessert if the feta is left out and either a creamy honey goat cheese is substituted or whipped cream!
For more information about Jennifer Miller please visit www.jenreviews.com