Fox Tails

  • August 23, 2015



Active Time

1 hour

Total Time

3 hours

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  • Fox Tails
  • Fox Tails
Fox Tails

Fox Tails, an appetizer inspired by the children’s book ‘Katie Fry & the Missing Fox,’ are sweet potato croquettes that are coated with panko bread crumbs, fried and served with a chive and truffle oil dipping sauce. They are a tasty and unique appetizer that will make you wonder why you ever thought to limit sweet potatoes to Thanksgiving and casseroles with marshmallows!


For the Fox Tails
  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 3 scallions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup half and half
  • ½ teaspoon dried sage
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups panko
  • 1 egg
  • Oil for frying
  • For the Dipping Sauce
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chives
  • 1 tablespoon half and half
  • ½ teaspoon truffle oil
  • A pinch of garlic powder
  • A splash of lemon juice


1. To make the Fox Tails, start by scrubbing and peeling the sweet potatoes. As best as you can, cut the sweet potatoes into similarly sized one inch cubes and transfer to a 2 quart pot. Add a teaspoon of salt and cover the sweet potatoes with an inch or two of water. Bring the water to a boil and cook until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender. Sweet potatoes actually cook a bit faster than russets or Yukon golds, so check them five minutes after the water has come to boil. Depending on how large you cut them, the sweet potatoes could be done by then.

2. While the sweet potatoes are coming to a boil and cooking, mince the shallots and garlic. Melt the butter in a small sauce pot and sweat the shallots and garlic for five minutes over medium low heat (add a pinch of salt and pepper). After about five minutes, add the quarter cup of half and half and sage and thyme. Stir to combine and let cook for a few minutes to left the flavors to come together. This should more or less wrap up around the same time as the sweet potatoes.

3. Drain the now fork-tender sweet potatoes and transfer them to the work bowl of a stand mixer. Add a pinch or two of salt and pepper as well as the butter/garlic mixture. Using the paddle attachment, mix on medium for a minute to mash the sweet potatoes and combine them with the dairy mixture. Give the mash a taste to see if it needs any salt or additional herbs. The final product should look like mash potatoes but be a little stronger in flavor than you would maybe like for a side dish. Since they will ultimately be portioned off into small bites and then fried, you want them to pack a punch.

4. Turn a rimmed baking sheet upside down and line it with a piece of wax paper. I will usually tape the ends of the wax paper to the sheet so that it will stay in place. Roll out the top of a gallon-sized zip-top bag (so that it will stay open) and transfer the mashed sweet potatoes into the bag and seal it. Trim off the corner of one end of the bag (about a half-inch wide) and pipe long “logs” of mashed sweet potatoes down the length of the baking sheet. Repeat this until you have four or five long rows. Transfer the baking sheet to the refrigerator and let cool for two hours to firm up.

5. While the sweet potatoes are chilling in the fridge, you can make the chive and truffle oil dipping sauce. Take a small handful of chives and slice them into very thin rounds. Transfer them to a small mixing bowl along with all other ingredients in the dipping sauce section. You don’t need a ton of lemon juice for this. I usually will cut off the two round ends of the lemon and use the little bit of juice in there. You can also use a splash of white wine vinegar instead. You just need a little bit of acid to balance the creaminess and wake up the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste and then let it sit in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

6. After the sweet potatoes have thoroughly cooled, remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator and cut the logs into two inch pieces (or cylinders). It’s now time to set up your breading stations. Set out two plates and put the flour onto one and the panko on the other. In a shallow dish, crack an egg and add a tablespoon of tap water. Lightly beat the egg with a fork and set the dish in between the two plates. Working from left to right, you will have your cut sweet potato croquettes, the plate with flour, the dish with the egg wash, the plate with panko and a third plate to hold the finished croquettes, or Fox Tails.

7. Carefully dip the croquettes in flour and lightly toss with the tips of two forks. Transfer to the egg wash, let it drain and then move on to the panko. Roll the croquette around in the panko, tap off any excess bread crumbs and then move to the third plate. Repeat this process until all croquettes are breaded.

8. Heat an inch or two of oil in a skillet over medium heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, fry the croquettes in batches, about two minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the finished croquettes to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Once all of the croquettes are fried, assemble on a serving platter with the chive and truffle oil dipping sauce and serve immediately.

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