Thursday, July 14, 2011

Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries

i love sweet potatoes. roasted, maple mashed, sweet potato cakes, you name it, i'll probably eat it. the only problem is, sweet potatoes seem like a fall/winter dish to me. the only way i like them in the summer is fried.

that's right, the sweet potato fry . . . a close contender to my all-time favorite french fry. these sweet, crispy, crunchy sticks give regular potatoes a run for their money.

i have a confession though, i have been unhappy with my sweet potato fries in the past. i like to bake them in the oven instead of frying them and i just couldn't get them crispy enough. if i tried baking them longer, they just burned. ugh!

that all ended this evening though. i finally discovered the method that yeilds perfectly crispy on the outside yet tender on the inside sweet potato fries. i don't even remember where i read to do this, but it is the secret!

that's right, i'm about to let you in on the secret too. put the baking sheet in the oven while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. that's the key! that and super dry sweet potatoes. i pat mine dry with paper towels and let them sit out for a little. then i dredge them in a little flour before tossing them lightly with some olive oil. when the oven and baking sheet are super hot, drizzle the hot baking sheet with a little olive oil and drop the fries on there. you will immediately hear them start to sizzle. that's good. the sizzle is the key. bake them for 15 minutes, turning each fry halfway through baking time. follow these instructions and i can nearly guarantee, crispy, crunchy, can't-stop-eating-them sweet potato fries.

if you are feeling adventurous, toss the uncooked sweet potato sticks with a little old bay, fresh thyme and garlic salt, or a mixture of cumin and cinnamon. yum!

Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
serves 4

2 large sweet potatoes
2 tbs flour
2 tbs olive oil, divided
salt and pepper

wash and dry potatoes. you can peel them or leave them unpeeled (i like them both ways). slice the potatoes into 1/2" thin sticks. lay sticks out on paper towels and dry well. let sit for 10 minutes.

meanwhile, place baking sheet in oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

toss sweet potato sticks with flour and then drizzle with 1 tbs olive oil. toss well to coat. once oven is preheated, remove pan and drizzle with remaining 1 tbs olive oil. drop sweet potatoes onto pan and make sure sticks are well spread out.

bake for 15 minutes, turning each individual sweet potato stick halfway through cooking time (yes, this is annoying, but it's worth it for even crispiness and to avoid burning). remove from oven and place on paper towel lined plate to drain off extra oil. sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste immediately and serve.

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