Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Chipotle Ranch Dressing

Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.

Suggested Use:
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.

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For the chipotle ranch dressing:
3/4 cup mayo (low fat is fine)
3/4 cup sour cream (low fat is fine, I replace half or all with fat-free Greek yogurt)
2-3 chipotle peppers, rehydrated in hot water
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 small bunch of chives
Small handful of cilantro
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup buttermilk (optional)

For the sweet potato fries:
3-4 Tbsp oil (coconut recommended)
1 lb sweet potatoes (2 medium, no longer than ~5-6 inches long)
1 tsp ancho chile powder (substitute regular chile powder if you prefer)
2 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp garlic powder
Dash of cinnamon
Pinch of salt and black pepper


To make the dressing, place all dressing ingredients except the buttermilk in a blender. Blend for 10 seconds. Check consistency and blend in buttermilk if desired (less buttermilk for dipping, more for dressing). Store in an air-tight jar in the fridge for a week or more.

To make the fries, coat a baking sheet with 3 Tbsp of oil, adding the last Tbsp if necessary. (I like the flavor of coconut oil with sweet potato fries).

Preheat the oven and baking sheet to 450. (This is a little over the smoking point of moist cooking oils, including coconut. You want enough to nicely coat the baking sheet, not pool – this will keep it from smoking too much.)

Peel and slice the sweet potatoes into 1/4-inch sticks (no longer than ~5 inches long).

In a large zipper bag, mix the dry spices together. Add the sweet potato fries, zip close, and shake to coat the fries evenly. Carefully put the fries onto the baking sheet and bake for ~20 minutes, flipping halfway through – this is easier to do by shaking the pan if you place the fries parallel to the long side of the pan, a couple of back-and-forth shakes and you’re done. Turn on the broiler for the last 1-2 minutes, just until the tips of the fries begin to turn black. Don’t walk away – they can burn in no time. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate in a single layer until ready to serve.

Adapted from