Thursday, November 20, 2008

Roasted Sweet Potato 'Fries'

I was a late convert to sweet potatoes and I'm still not wholly won over, but I do love sweet potato fries. I'm not going to deep fry at home and I know that I'm never going to get a really crispy result in the oven as I could with regular potatoes. However, I've come up with a good compromise. Evan said he thought these were the most successful attempt so far. Elspeth certainly couldn't get enough. We had to eat up all of the sweet potatoes before she would even contemplate eating any gumbo, which has been a real favorite for her. We like to leave the skins on the sweet potatoes. I think it helps to mitigate the sweetness, which is the main reason I am still somewhat ambivalent about this tuber. Leaving the skins on is also less work!

I tried and tried to find Washington-grown sweet potatoes at the farmers' market or supermarket and have concluded that I don't think they're grown here. I do try to be a locavore, but it seemed too sad to eliminate them from our diet. I feel slightly better about it in winter, when local produce is thin on the ground.

As many sweet potatoes as your family will eat in a meal--I did 4 small ones
1 TBSP olive oil (may need to be adjusted depending on amount of sweet potatoes used)
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat a baking tray in the oven at 450 degrees. I might even try 500 degrees next time. I did use Silpat on my baking tray (left over from the cauliflower crunch) and am not sure it can go up to 500)
  2. Scrub the sweet potatoes and cut into long slices, about 1/2 to 1 inch thick
  3. Place the sweet potato slices in a large bowl
  4. Put the olive oil in your hands and rub into the sweet potato slices
  5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  6. Carefully remove the baking tray from the oven and scatter the sweet potato slices on it in a single layer
  7. Bake for 20 minutes and check. Bake until slices have puffed slightly and look nice and golden/dark brown
  8. Remove from oven and serve immediately

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