Looking for a fun, affordable side to serve with those burgers and steaks this Labor Day weekend? These easy baked garlic fries are the perfect accompaniment to all the delicious grilled meats and veggies you’ll be enjoying. The sweet chili sauce puts a fun spin on ketchup and other traditional dipping sauces.
And the best part? The price! Potatoes are always a delicious and affordable option, and there’s really no need to buy bottled sweet chili sauce at the store anymore. This simple recipe uses everyday ingredients you already have in your pantry, making it easier to spend your hard earned dough on the good stuff like meats, drinks and the like. No fish sauce? No problem. Soy sauce or even salt will give a slightly different, but equally delicious result. Cost per serving: $0.85
Baked Garlic Fries with Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce
For the fries:
- 2 lbs russet potatoes
- 2 tsp light cooking oil, (canola, etc.)
- 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp cilantro or flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
For the Sweet Chili Sauce:
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup rice or white vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 1 Tbsp dried crushed chilies
- 2-3 Tbsp fish sauce or light soy sauce
- 2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 4 Tbsp water
Preheat the oven to 400°. Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Peel and cut the potatoes into fries about ¼" - ½" thick. Toss lightly with the oil, sprinkle with a small amount of salt and pepper. Place the fries on the prepared baking sheet in a single, even layer. (Hint: For the crispiest fries, place a rack on the baking sheet and put the fries on the rack; the heat will circulate on all sides of the fries and prevent the "soggy side" that happens so much with baked fries.) Bake for about 15-20 minutes.
While the fries are baking, prepare the sweet chili sauce by combining the sugar, vinegar, water, fish sauce, garlic and chilies in a medium saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer until the mixture is reduced by half (about 10 minutes).
Combine the cornstarch and 4 tablespoons of water to form a quick slurry. Reduce heat to medium low and slowly pour in the cornstarch slurry, whisking constantly to prevent any sticking. Continue to stir for about 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. Carefully check for flavor: you should have a nice balance between sweet, sour and spicy. Remove from heat and set aside.
Check the fries for color and give them a quick toss with a pair of tongs, to ensure all sides are cooked evenly. Bake for another 10-15 minutes until crisp and golden on the outside and tender on the inside.
When fries are finished baking, remove from rack or pan with a metal spatula. Toss together with the garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper. Serve immediately with a bowl of sweet chili sauce for dipping, and enjoy!
Fish sauce can be found in most grocery stores in the International Foods aisle, or at your local Asian food market. If you can’t find it, a light soy sauce or salt will make a fine substitute. Note that if soy sauce is used, the color of the sauce will be a little darker, but it will still taste every bit as delicious!
Makes 6 servings.
About the Author
Kimberly A. Morales is the writer and recipe developer behind Poor Girl Eats Well. Focusing on eating well no matter how slim your budget, Kimberly shares original recipes and money-saving tips that have helped thousands of readers since 2008.