March 1, 2009

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

What's better than a potato fry?

If your answer is "100 potato fries," or "a new car," or "a date with Kirk Cameron in 1988," then you are clearly putting too much thought into my question.

Let me bring you back to earth--and to the year 2009, you Growing Pains junkies!--by answering my question in clear and simple terms: the only thing better than a potato fry is a sweet potato fry. (Obviously!)

Luckily, I live in Sweet Potato Country! In the U.S., North Carolina leads all other states in sweet potato production. In 2007, nearly 40% of the nation's sweet potatoes were grown in this fair state. California, often considered the country's agricultural nexus, came in a distant second with 23%. Eat it, California! (No, really--eat a North Carolina sweet potato, California. It's sure to be tasty!)

Ugly, but delicious, local sweet potato

I was lucky enough to snag some ugly spuds over the weekend, and as a person who is usually turned off by sweet potatoes in their candied form (but not Bridget's yummy quick bread form), I found these spuds to be irresistible when prepared as a savory dish. Sweet potato fries are the perfect blend of salty and sweet. Their texture reminds me more of fried cassava than a fried potato. These fries are a little fluffier, creamier and less dense than their Russet brothers.

And, boy, are these fries easy to make! They are so easy, in fact, that this dish could become dangerous for the ol' waistline. I have one more sweetie in my kitchen waiting to be peeled, chopped, spiced and baked. Its chirpy little voice, which sounds oddly similar to Kirk Cameron's voice circa 1988, fills my ears with pink clouds of desire each time I spy into its cabinety lair. This spud, with a flesh that's marbled like some ancient salmon goddess, is damn seductive.

How do you like your sweet potatoes? What spices do you add when baking/roasting them?

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients:

2 sweet potatoes
1 tsp. salt
2 tbs. olive oil
1/4 tsp. ginger powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven at 400. Wash and peel potatoes, and then cut into strips. Toss potatoes on a cookie sheet, and coat with the oil and spices. When potatoes are evenly coated, roast for 30-35 minutes. In the middle of cooking, flip potatoes so that both sides get evenly roasted. They should have lovely caramelized edges when ready!

Before:

After:

5 comments:

Breedale said...

OOOOOOH! Those look tasty. I haven't had sweet potato fries in a long time and I am ashamed to admit the last ones I had were from a bag. You sold me on the NC potatoes though so I will promptly buy some more and make some fries. Thanks for sharing. I laughed out loud at the Kirk Cameron picture. While, my crushes in 88 tended to be one of the Corey's, I definitely can appreciate the male 80's icon of our generation. Yum!

Hadley Gets Crafty said...

You need to eat those with Thousand Island dressing. For reals. Trust me on this one.

Paul Allor said...

I like to mix in some carrot fries with them. I'm crazy that way.

Jada Ach said...

Yum! Thanks for the ideas, y'all!

Dia said...

Oh - these look great! Ginger - that's such a good idea! The 'old original' burger place in town (50 years?) has S P fries, & I've gotten them several times! Now that I'm cooking with coconut oil (& saving olive for raw use) I can just imagine using that sweet potatoe I picked up Fri this way!