Monday, June 18, 2012

Sweet Potato Fries

I feel so guilty. I never thought I would do this. It violates everything in which I believe. I’ve just spent $6.99 to buy a 22-oz. package of fresh, raw, peeled, washed, crinkle-cut, sweet potato slices. 
It was the crinkle cut that hooked me - kinda flirty, kinda cute. I thought how good those crinkle cuts would feel in my mouth - and how good they’d look on the table. This will be a dalliance, rather than a life-long relationship, I thought. I could have peeled and cut an ordinary sweet potato for less than $1, but the temptation to bust loose from same-old, same-old was overwhelming. 
If I’ve strayed from the straight and narrow, spending more than I should have to buy sweet potatoes, then mea culpa - but guess what?  I almost never buy sweet potatoes, did this time, and learned that they’re outstanding eaten naked (the crinkle-cuts, Dollinks - not me). That means no dip, no sauce, no seasoning, no nuttin’. 
Baked in their skins without salt, sweet potatoes are low in sodium and very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. They contribute dietary fiber, Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, and manganese to your good health. Try them raw in salads, or lightly steamed as a side dish.
So now I have something else about which to feel guilty. By adding olive oil and salt to these sweet potatoes, as Ive done below, I’ve reduced their nutritional value. I promise the remaining crinkle-cuts will go directly into salads!
Sweet Potato Fries:

Sweet potatoes, as required
Olive oil, as required
Sea salt, to taste 
Coarsely ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 425 deg. F. If using whole sweet potatoes, peel and trim into french-fry widths and lengths (or use pre-cut sweet potatoes, as I did). Rinse and blot completely dry (pre-cuts need no rinsing). Place raw, sliced sweet potatoes in bowl, tossing with just enough olive oil to coat lightly. Season to taste, combining well. Bake in a single layer on parchment-covered baking sheet for 15 min. Turn and bake a further 5-to-10 min. Fries should be crisp - not soggy. If they’re soggy, you’ve used too much olive oil. Do not share the oven with another dish, or your fries will go limp with the moisture the other dish vents. You may need to try this recipe a couple of times to get the balance of ingredients and timing that suits your taste.

Love at first sight - and at first bite!

Combine with olive oil and seasonings; bake as recipe directs


  1. Here's another recipe - this one for for Oven-Baked Yam Fries - from my friend, Chef Brian! Peel and slice fresh yams as you prefer. Toss yam slices in peanut oil in a large bowl. Sprinkle with paprika, onion powder, and (optionally) ground coriander and salt, tossing further to combine well. Most starchy vegetables absorb flavourings, so be generous. Chipotle or smoked paprika are other good alternative seasonings. Place in a single thickness on an oven tray. Bake in a preheated 425 deg. F. oven for 12-to-15 min., depending on the size to which you cut them. Yams are high in fructose and will brown (and burn) faster than potatoes. That's why it's worth paying close attention the first couple of times you do this, to work out for how long they need to cook, and at what size.


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