Prep Time: 1½ Hours
Yields: 10 Servings
Although fritters or beignets can be made with everything from bread to meats and seafood, often, we forget to include vegetables and starch. My Godmother, Anna Mae Ledet, made one of the best fritters I've ever tasted using eggplant topped with powdered sugar. So why not create a savory fritter using Louisiana yams that are served hot and spiced with tasso.
4–5 sweet potatoes (about 3½ pounds)
2 large egg yolks
¼ pound tasso ham, finely chopped
7 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 tsps Cajun seasoning
salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups pastry flour
3 large eggs, beaten
3 cups panko bread crumbs
vegetable oil for frying
Creole mustard for serving
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. On a rimmed baking sheet, roast sweet potatoes 1 hour or until tender. While still warm, peel sweet potatoes and pass them through a food mill and into a large mixing bowl. Add egg yolks, tasso, cheese, Cajun seasoning then season to taste using salt and black pepper. Using a rubber spatula, gently combine. Add pastry flour and beaten eggs, using rubber spatula to gently combine. Place bread crumbs in a shallow pan and set aside. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop sweet potato mixture, rolling into a ball. Roll balls in bread crumbs, coating well. Place balls onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze overnight. When ready to cook, in a large Dutch oven, heat 4 inches oil over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 325°F. Working in batches, add sweet potato balls and cook 4–6 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oil and place on paper towels to drain. Continue until all are fried. Serve with Creole mustard if desired.