Well, hello there: here for another reacharound? My arms, they ache! But nevertheless, we’re taking a look back to 2017 and updating one of our most popular sides, the salty spicy sweet potato fries! Before we get to the recipe, however, I must update you on how quickly and efficiently Goomba made a mockery of my lovely post about him a few days ago. I must warn you, however: the tale, which I’ll endeavour to keep brief, does contain quite a bit of talk about dog plop. If you’re squeamish, or indeed aware that the meal accompanying this recipe does look a little bit like he’s had a stab at digesting it already, simply boop Goomba’s nose on the photo which I’ve customised for you below and you’ll be whisked straight to the salty spicy sweet potato fries. But, know this: by clicking on his face you’re actually telling him how much you dislike him. I can’t believe you’d be so cruel.
Can you believe they did that? Let’s quickly gossip about them like we used to do on the blog of old. I mean, you clearly can’t trust someone with that level of fussiness in their lives, can you? I bet they couldn’t wait for their dinner, that’s why they clicked. Might as well have come and kicked Goomba right in his nipsy.
Though, I’ll ask that you don’t, because lord knows it looks like a chewed halftime orange at the moment. See, our poor baby has gastroenteritis, which is creating a double worry for me because I have to google how to spell it every single time. Part of me wishes it was rabies: easy to spell and we’d save on the water bill. Either way, from now on and because we’re amongst friends, we’ll refer to him having the shits. He came home from daycare yesterday (a feat in itself, although I knew training him to use a bus would pay off) and totally ignored the wonderful dinner I had carefully prepared for him. He’s on raw food from Rawgeous and I’m not going to lie, there’s been several times when I’ve looked at his dinner and then my own miserable repast and considered swapping them over. I reckon frying and adding black pepper to most of his meals would render them suitable for humans, but he’d probably take my ankles off if I tried.
We chalked down his lack of hunger to the fact he’d probably filled himself up chewing his way through Paul’s Smart car seat cushions (hope he doesn’t get a taste for that, given it’ll be 90% farts and 10% bodily secretions from burly lorry drivers) on the way home. He took himself into his crate for a lie down and most of the evening passed without incident. We’re currently rewatching 24 and almost at the end of series five and things are getting tense: I’m cutting back to 50 cigarettes a day just to get through the episodes in a timely fashion. The current threat is a nerve gas which causes folks to splutter, retch and ultimately die with some fetching pink foam crusting their lips.
Well, Goomba was clearly inspired, and no sooner had the clock started ticking on our fifth episode of the evening when this almighty, eye-watering stench hit us both. I’m telling you now: I could cheerfully stand downwind of a fire at a rendering plant, that the firefighters were tackling by spraying slurry onto from a helicopter, and still consider myself lucky that at least I wasn’t back in that living room. Peering behind the sofa we realised that Goomba had taken it upon himself to open the valves at one end of the living room, walk to the other end, across our hallway, into our bedroom and all around our bed without pausing to nip off. You know in old detective movies (and the stonecutter episode of The Simpsons, which is where I get all my cutting-edge references from) when the detective ties a dripping paint can to the underside of the narc’s car so the drip trail reveals where he is heading? Well imagine that but instead of a dripping paint tray you’re using a cement mixer full of foamy brown coffee. It was everywhere. He’s only a small dog so I assume he had someone take over halfway through. Probably Sola.
Naturally, as a kind and considerate husband, I volunteered poor Paul to clean it up. Which makes me sound like a terrible partner but you have to understand, I absolutely can’t deal with dog poo. I can’t. Not many things make me gip (luckily) but the thought of that actually makes me retch, so that’s Paul’s job unless I’m walking the dog alone and even then I have to hold my breath for the entirety of the picking up exercise. People bump into me in the street and mistake my blue lips as a sign of a lack of fitness and it really isn’t: it’s just me trying not to pass out face-down into whatever sinful mess Goomba has turned his dinner into. Paul set about cleaning up whilst I went to find Goomba, who, bless his heart, looked absolutely terrified (and almost translucent). We’ve never shouted at him and we weren’t going to start now: I can’t get my head around people who punish their dogs for crapping inside. It’s not like they do it deliberately and I’m fairly sure if you accidentally shat yourself in public you wouldn’t expect someone to hit you on the nose with a newspaper afterwards. Unless that’s your kink, and if so, good for you! Dare to dream.
I carried him across the river of stink he had left behind and took him outside to see if there was anything else left in him and, thankfully, there wasn’t anything billowing from that end, but he promptly vomited all over our yard. If he had ran back in and pissed in our wash basket he would have got the full house and won a speedboat, but by this point he was clearly very unwell. We called the emergency vets who, after running us through a questionnaire that by all accounts should have ended with me having the chance to win £1,000,000 with a set of lifelines, recommended that we keep an eye on him. I think she must have sensed our ‘new Dad’ anxiety and upgraded us to bringing him in. Thank heavens, because we were flapping: I was two beats away from faking a heart attack just so we could borrow the air ambulance and Paul had his bank card ready to slap down on the reception desk accompanied with a cry of ‘DO WHATEVER IT TAKES JUST MAKE HIM BETTER’. Springers are notorious for eating anything they find on the floor and although we keep a very tidy home, you never know if he’s managed to find a slipper or a piece of Lego or a load-bearing wall to chew on.
Paul rushed him at top speed to the vets five miles away – took him four hours in the Smart car – whereas I stayed at home so I didn’t distract the vet with my wailing and banging my head on the wall in panic. Happily, the vet decided that the dog hadn’t ate anything he shouldn’t have and clearly just had a stomach bug. I found this out by messaging Paul to ask ‘how is he’ only to get a response of ‘Romanian, bearded, really fit‘. Turns out he was talking about the vet. I ever so gently suggested he concentrates on the dog and he reassured me that pretty much as soon as he got to the vets, Goomba was running around happy as a chip. But of course he was. Long, expensive story short, he’s got the shits, and he’s having to stay inside and feel sorry for himself. I tried tucking him into a spare duvet and sticking This Morning on for him like my mum used to do for me when I was off with pains in my ovaries or whatever I’d made up to get out of PE. He was having none of it, of course, and took himself to his crate to look forlornly at me and choke down some plain chicken.
Oh, the final brown cherry on this heavily-iced cake? Once he had settled in his crate we were getting ourselves ready for bed when we spotted he had also been sick – and significantly so – on our bed. My side too, which hurt. As we hadn’t spotted this earlier it had been given enough time and opportunity to sink through the first duvet, then the second (we sleep with the windows open all winter – we’re like the Bucket family), then the sheet, then the mattress topper and then for good measure, a good way through the mattress. Super! We had to turn the mattress over, which is always terrifying because the sound of 100,000,000,000 tiny screams in the midnight silence is haunting, and then try and cuddle our way through sleeping on the wrong side of the bed with a duvet so thin you could trace the person underneath through it with little difficulty. I woke up at 4am to check Goomba hadn’t shat his arse out again and, upon returning and seeing Paul had cocooned himself in the quilt in my absence, just decided to stay up.
So, readers, it’s been a day. My mother summed it up perfectly when I told her what had happened (and the subsequent £180 vet bill – thank God for insurance):
Fuck me, that’s one expensive shite
Can’t argue with that. You can tell she’s retired now, she’s back to swearing like an angry pirate again.
Right, shall we get to the salty spicy sweet potato fries? All those people who skipped straight here will be back in a moment. Smile and pretend you like them!
Oh hi! Gosh you look pretty. Have you been working out? Shall we have some dinner? Let’s try these spicy salty sweet potato fries!
Every mouthful of these salty spicy sweet potato fries will leave you winning, we promise
Do not be tempted to skip the nuts (good advice for a lot of things) – they add texture and flavour to the salty spicy sweet potato fries
only I…can live forever…in these salty spicy sweet potato fries
salty spicy sweet potato fries
Yield 4 servings
These salty spicy sweet potato fries, covered in sticky sauces and nuts (rather like me on holiday), are absolutely bloody amazing and I won't have a bad word said against them. You could probably make this recipe using normal potatoes but if you're going to do that, you might as well come round and tell me you hate me to my face.
We've upgraded the recipe a little as when we first published it, sriracha was a pain in the arse to come by. And to spell. Now you can find it everywhere, and we've swapped the satay and hoisin sauces for their 'dipping' equivalents - much nicer, trust me. They can all be found in your local Tesco'sse'sesse'sses.
- 1kg of sweet potato fries (we use the McCain Signature ones because they crisp up rather than going to mush)
- 2 tablespoons of satay dipping sauce
- 2 tablespoons of sriracha or hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons of hoisin dipping sauce
- 40g of roasted salted peanuts, half chopped fine, half chopped coarse
- three spring onions, chopped
- sprinkling of chilli flakes
- 1kg sweet potatoes
- 2 tbsp satay sauce (2 syns)
- 2 tbsp sriracha (1 syn)
- 2 tbsp hoisin dipping sauce (3 syns)
- 15g dry roasted peanuts (about 4 syns)
- 2 spring onions, sliced
- cook your sweet potato fries in the oven until they're nice and crispy and then tip into a bowl
- tumble them around in the sauces with the finely chopped peanuts and then tip onto a plate
- top with the rest of the peanuts, spring onion and chilli flakes
- you can make your own sweet potato fries if you want - slice up a load of sweet potatoes, tumble them in oil, wince because I used tumble, cook in the oven - calories will drop, but honestly for the sake of a quick dinner it's not worth it
- a good friend of mine got me into crispy chilli in oil and it goes perfect on a dish like this, it's a very savoury, umami flavour rather than chilli - if you've never tried it you are genuinely missing out - you can order it here
- does it need to be said - book two is still the very best if you're wanting slimming recipes: order yours here!
- let's hear it for book one too - the cookbook that started it all: click here to order
- we've got a planner too: here
- absolutely unapologetic about this one - we have been trying to find a decent baking tray for ages where nothing sticks to it (I make a lot of biscuits) and this Le Creuset baking tray never fails us
Courses side dishes