Stuffed Sweet Potato Bites
- 1/2 package frozen sweet potato fries, chopped into small cubes
- 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for drudging
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, plus extra for drudging
- 1 egg, plus 2 eggs for drudging
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon bacon salt seasoning
- 1 tablespoon cold butter, chopped into small cubes
- Canola oil, for frying
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 package bacon ranch dip mix
- 1 kitchen syringe (think turkey syringe at Thanksgiving)
In a large mixing bowl, add the chopped sweet potato fries, Cheddar, honey, 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs, 1 egg, salt, bacon salt seasoning, and chilled butter, and begin to mix rigorously with your hands. When the items are incorporated properly you can begin to form bite-size balls with the mixture. If the sweet potato mixture is not forming properly, add more flour and mix again. After forming the balls, put them on a plate, side by side, until all the mixture is used. When the plate is filled, wrap in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
While the balls are freezing, prepare a "dredging" station. This should consist of (in this order) 1 bowl of seasoned flour (seasoning with salt and pepper is fine, you can also add more bacon salt seasoning) 1 bowl with 2 beaten eggs, and 1 bowl with seasoned panko bread crumbs (same seasoning as flour).
When the bites are frozen begin the drudging process. You do this by rolling the balls in the flour, then dipping in the egg, then rolling them in the bread crumbs. Repeat this process with all the sweet potato bites.
Fill a frying pan half way full with canola oil. Heat the oil to about 350 to 375 degrees F. When the proper temperature is achieved, gently drop the bites into the oil and cook until the entire outer layer of the bite is a golden brown. Transfer the bites to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
When all the balls have been fried and are cooling, take a small mixing bowl and mix the sour cream and the bacon ranch dip mix until it is totally incorporated. Take the tip of the kitchen syringe and put in the dip; pull the lever to transfer the dip into the shaft of the syringe. Insert the needlepoint of the syringe into the center of a sweet potato bite, then gently inject the dip into the bite. You may need to experiment with 1 or 2 bites before you get the technique down. You want to slightly fill the bite, but not overstuff it to the point where the dip leaks out. Continue this process until all the bites have been filled. Arrange the bits on a serving platter and serve warm.
This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.
Recipe courtesy Jesse Brune, 2010