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MJ Cook Jones wins recipe contest

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission, along with Louisiana Cookin’ magazine, announced the conclusion of its eighth annual Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest for fresh, canned or frozen sweet potatoes, naming five first place winners and one grand-prize winner. 

Kim Jones, from Mt. Juliet, placed first in the appetizers category for her “Cajun Coconut Sweet Frites with Double Dippin’ Sauces” recipe, earning her a $500 cash prize. 

The entries were grouped into five categories: appetizers, side dishes, main dishes, desserts and professional. Students from the culinary arts program at Delgado Community College in New Orleans participated by preparing the final recipes for the contest. Each category in the competition had a first, second and third place winner, as well as an overall grand-prize winner. The judges chose the winning recipes based on their overall flavor, texture, visual appeal and creativity.

The winners’ names, recipes and photos are featured in Louisiana Cookin’ magazine’s October issue, as well as on their website. Recipes are also posted in the recipe section of the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission’s website at

The main sponsor of the 2012 Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest was the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission. Their mission is to promote the consumption of Louisiana sweet potatoes, by educating consumers on the yam’s many nutritional attributes, and on its amazing versatility in popular, delicious recipes. Louisiana Cookin’ magazine, Bruce’s Yams Co., Alexia All Natural Foods Inc., the Louisiana Restaurant Association, The New Orleans Menu, and the Culinary Arts Department at Delgado Community College also sponsored this year’s contest. 

The next Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest will begin in January 2013. Contest information, free recipes and nutritional information are available on the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission’s website at or on the Commission’s fan page at

First place – Yam Appetizers recipe

Kim Jones

Mt. Juliet

Cajun Coconut Sweet Frites with Double Dippin’ Sauces

Servings: 8 


3 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed

2 tablespoons of kosher salt

¾ cup cornstarch

¾ cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon whole milk

Ground black pepper

1½ cups Japanese bread crumbs (panko)

1½ cups shredded sweetened coconut

3 cups vegetable or canola oil

Kickin’ Honey Mustard, recipe follows

Blackberry Umami Sauce, recipe follows


In a large stockpot, place sweet potatoes and enough water to cover. Add salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 to 25 minutes or until almost tender. Your knife should easily pierce the skin but meet some resistance in the middle. Drain potatoes and let cool. 

In a shallow dish, combine cornstarch, flour and Cajun seasoning. In a shallow bowl, combine eggs, milk and salt and pepper to taste. In another shallow dish, combine bread crumbs and coconut.

Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or wax paper. Cut each cooled sweet potato lengthwise in 8 wedges. Dredge each wedge in flour mixture, then egg mixture, and then coconut mixture. Place coated potatoes on prepared pan, and refrigerate 10 minutes for breading mixture to set.

In a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil to 360° over medium-high heat. Preheat oven to 200°.

Fry potatoes, 6 wedges at a time, for about 2 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towel-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle hot potatoes with salt, and keep warm in oven. Serve with Kickin’ Honey Mustard and Blackberry Umami Sauce. 

Kickin’ Honey Mustard 

Serving: 1 cup


½ cup sour cream

¼ cup whole grain mustard

2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons prepared horseradish


In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until used.

Blackberry Umami Sauce

Servings: 1 cup 


½ cup blackberry preserves

¼ cup Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger


In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until used.

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