Tuesday, October 27, 2009
You know it's fall when piles of sweet potatoes take over the produce section at the grocery store. I never actually had a real sweet potato until I was an adult. Oh sure, we had those marshmallow topped candied yams at Thanksgiving when I was a kid, but those orange chunks came from a can (though technically yams and sweet potatoes aren't the same thing). Yuck. And marshmallows? Who came up with that idea? Ugh. I'm feeling sick just thinking about it. (Sorry to all of those who think it's the greatest dish ever. Who are you?)
Usually when people don't like sweet potatoes it's because they find them too sweet. I think they just find them covered with corn syrup, corn starch, sugar, dextrose, and gelatin. Mmmm good! (OK, maybe toasted between some chocolate and graham crackers...) But if you roast a sweet potato and remember to balance it's natural flavor with some savory components, you've got something completely different. Enter: my roasted sweet potato fries.
Since I'm basically too scared to heat a pot of oil to 325˚F, convinced that it will somehow jump off the stove top and cover me with 3rd degree burns (remind me to tell you about the burn I got on my foot while baking a pie for Thanksgiving), the oven (or toaster oven) comes in very handy when trying to fake some fries. And this particular tuber is filled with Vitamin A and beta-carotene, so you've got that healthy thing working for you. They might not crisp up quite as much as a regular fry, but they also won't be a cloying pile of unidentifiable orange objects.
Roasted Sweet Potato Fries
1 pound sweet potatoes (about 2 medium)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dijon mustard, optional
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut the potatoes in half crosswise and then into 1/2 inch wedges. In a large bowl toss the sweet potatoes, oil, salt, chili powder, and pepper to coat.
2. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 25 - 30 minutes, turning the potatoes over midway through cooking. Serve immediately with Dijon mustard, if desired. Makes 2 - 3 servings.