Friday, January 16, 2009

Sweet Potato Oven Fries

Are you looking for a healthier alternative than french fries for your family? Try sweet potato fries! This root vegetable is an antioxidant and packed with vitamin A. It contains a good source of vitamin C, copper, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, and iron. Isn't that better than serving your kids greasy french fries?

These oven-baked sweet potato fries are a favorite in our house. This recipe calls for two baking sheets full of fries cooking at once, which we can use to our advantage. By altering one of the batches of fries, we can make every one's mouth happy with very little extra effort. One sheet of regular fries for the sheet of spicy fries for the adults! Simply add cayenne pepper to taste for a spectacular spicy version.

1 teaspoon peanut oil plus 1 additional tablespoon
2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 medium), scrubbed
ground black pepper

1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place 1/2 teaspoon of the oil on each of two rimmed baking sheets. Use a paper towel to spread the oil evenly over the entire surface and place both sheets in the oven. We want the baking sheets hot when we place the fries onto them.

2. Remove any imperfections in the skin of each sweet potato, and then cut each sweet potato from end to end into approximately 8-10 thick wedges. My sweet potatoes were on the larger side, so I needed to divide mine further. No matter how many wedges you end up cutting, aim for triangularly shaped wedges if possible.

3. Toss the sweet potatoes and the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large bowl to coat. Season generously with salt and pepper and toss again to blend.

4. Carefully remove one baking sheet from the oven and place half of the sweet potatoes on the baking sheet with one of the cut sides down. Spread them out so that they do not touch each other. Return the baking sheet to the oven and repeat the process using the second baking sheet and the remaining sweet potatoes.

5. Bake until the cut side of the sweet potatoes touching the baking sheet is crusty and golden brown, 15-20 minutes. This is a key step; do not move or flip fries if they are not crusty and golden brown. Remove each baking sheet from the oven and carefully turn the sweet potatoes, using a thin metal spatula. This is another key step; handle the fries carefully so the crispy exterior does not rip or stick to the pan. Return to oven and continue to bake until second cut side of the sweet potatoes now touching the pan is crusty and golden brown, 10-15 minutes. Use the metal spatula to transfer the sweet potatoes to a platter and serve the oven-fried potatoes immediately.

Now don't you think these look amazing!? Take my word for it, they'll be gone in no time.

Recipe by Cook's Illustrated, January 2004; Modifications mine.

Click here for printable version of this recipe.


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