Hello from the great city of Cleveland! Reuben and I just wrapped up an eventful weekend in Geneva, NY celebrating his 10-year college reunion! He’s such an old man. It was a wonderful few days seeing old friends (well for me it was meeting lots of new peeps) from his college days. Since we were in upstate New York we gathered around many tables filled with glasses of chilled Rieslings, boxes of gooey pizza, and baskets of buffalo wings. Now I’m spending a few days in Cleveland to catch up with family and eat ALL DA FOOD. Is there any other way you’re supposed to catch up with people you love though???
Reunions are always great opportunities to seek out all the best feel good foods. When you have 5 of your best friends around, you don’t feel quite as guilty ordering cheese on every single dish.
Wait, did someone say cheese? I’m sharing this super fun and shareable recipe for Sweet Potato Cheese Fries with Lime Yogurt and Sambal! This recipe was inspired by the very moment 5 of my friends and I felt liberated enough to order cheese on everything when we visited the Tillamook Creamery last Fall! For Thanksgiving last year, we decided to travel up to Portland, Oregon to spend the holiday with my best friend, Katie, and some friends I hadn’t seen in ages! Ah such wonderful people. I’ve always been a fan of Tillamook and would pick up the blocks of glorious cheddar whenever it would present itself at our local markets or the tubs of ice cream for a sweet treat after dinner. But you don’t really experience the full magic of Tillamook until you’re in unofficial “Tillamook Country”. It’s just everywhere in Portland! I’m really jealous actually. There was probably a touch of Tillamook in every one of our Thanksgiving dishes that year. There was definitely at least a pad of their butter in everything! Oh, and the vanilla ice cream for our pecan pie! Mmmmmmm.
The gravitational pull of the gorgeous Oregon coast was tugging on us, so we packed up the car with some road snacks and ventured out to in search of beaches for agate hunting, some sour beer tasting, and of course cheese! We first arrived at the Creamery and it was just as glorious as I imagined it to be! We went straight to the cheese samples obviously. Then took some time to study the process of cheese making. We grew quickly hungry and headed over to their dining area for a casual feast! There was cheese on EVERYTHING. We ordered cheese pizza, tempura cheese curds (WOW), cheese fries, mac and cheese, grilled cheese, and I think a shrimp salad for health. Everything was so good!
Food just has a way of bringing friends together for a great time. That only gets better when you include cheese, especially Tillamook Cheese. I look back fondly on that Thanksgiving and have given it the unofficial name of our “Tillamook Thanksgiving”. It goes without saying that all their cheeses, ice creams, and other dairy products are straight up delicious. But what I love about Tillamook is that they provide you with all the ingredients for creating a meaningful and flavorful reason to get together with people that you love. You can’t quite say that about… I don’t know… granola??
When Tillamook asked me to create a recipe sharing my Tillamook story, I knew it had to be something comforting, cheesy, and shareable! Cheese fries seemed like the next logical step! For this recipe I ask that you deep fry… but it’s worth it I swear! You could also grab some frozen sweet potato fries and bake them in the oven. I won’t tell anyone. The toppings are what really make this dish sing!
Tillamook Farmstyle Thick Cut Shredded Triple Cheddar Cheese - Essential in cheese fries. Their thick cut shredded cheddar creates really melty pockets of cheese and make for a satisfying snack when you need to sprinkle some cheese in your mouth why the fries take a hot oil bath.
Lime Yogurt Sauce - I have 3 whole tubs of Tillamook Plain and Simple Greek Yogurt right now and it’s a dream come true. The yogurt sauce is made with their tangy and thick greek yogurt, lime juice, and a splash of water. It’s so quick and simple to make but adds such a necessary bright and acidic foil to the fries.
Sambal - This comes a little out of left field, but trust me on this one. The cheese fries we had at the Creamery had a simple and delicious cheese sauce, but I just wanted to add an extra spicy kick. Sambal is spicy, garlicky, and a little sour. Again a great compliment to the richness and saltiness of the fries. The yogurt sauce also helps tame the heat of the sambal if you’re worried about spicing yourself out.
It may seem like there is a whole lot going on, but all the different flavors play so well together and make for a super fun and tasty dish to share with your friends! Give it a fry : )
Tillamook made this wonderful documentary, “Try It And You’ll Get It.” about their biggest fans and I love all the stories so much! You can watch it here! If you have a Tillamook story I would love for you the share it in the comments below!
Thanks, Tillamook, for sponsoring this recipe!!
Sweet Potato Cheese Fries with Lime Yogurt and Sambal
Juice of ½ a lime
½ cup Tillamook Plain and Simple Greek Yogurt
2 tbsp water
Sweet Potato Fries:
2 large sweet potatoes
½ cup Tillamook Farmstyle Thick Cut Shredded Triple Cheddar Cheese
1-2 tbsp Sambal
Canola Oil for frying
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Make the lime yogurt sauce by mixing together lime juice, greek yogurt, and water. Set aside.
Heat 2” of canola oil in a heavy pot to 370 degrees. While the oil is heating up, cut sweet potatoes into thin fries, about ¾” square thickness. Fry the sweet potatoes in batches for 3-4 minutes until crisp. Remove fries from the oil and place on a wire rack and immediately sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Repeat frying with remaining batches of sweet potatoes.
Place sweet potatoes on a baking tray. Sprinkle on shredded cheese and place in the oven for a few minutes, until the cheese is melty. Take the fries out of the oven and top the cheese fries with the lime yogurt sauce, a few dollops of sambal, and chopped scallions. Enjoy immediately!