I was a bit slow jumping on the sweet potato bandwagon, but now that I’m on it, especially with these Baked Sweet Potato Fries – I don’t want to get off. . . ever. My daughter makes a Loaded Baked Sweet Potato topped with black beans, sautéed chicken, bell peppers and onions, cheese and salsa ~ a meal in itself. Sounds delicious, right? I wish she had learned to make this when she was younger and lived at home, right?
We have a wedding we’re going to in 2 1/2 weeks ~ 2 1/2 weeks? Not sure how that happened, but it’s almost here. The fire is definitely lit under me with the age-old question ~ what to wear? Men really have it easy. Suit and tie. Done and done. I’ve been shopping for a dress but I’m not really a dress-up person ~ oh and those dressing room mirrors? Pure evil. There. I said it and I’m not taking it back. You know the shopping process: Store #1: you take a few dresses into the fitting room, strip down, try on. Ugh. Store #2: another few dresses, Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Back to the reason you tuned in today ~ Baked Sweet Potato Fries. My husband doesn’t venture far when it comes to food, but the last time I made these Baked Sweet Potato Fries, he commented that even though he never thinks to order them at a restaurant, whenever we have them at home he wonders why he doesn’t order them, because he likes them so much.
As if often the case in our house, these Sweet Potato Fries are spicy. If spice doesn’t shine your shoes or you have kidlets at home, feel free to leave the spicy stuff out and simply mix them in a butter-olive oil combination.
Quick side note – sweet potatoes are harder than other potatoes, so I’m extra careful when I cut them. I had an accident once taking the pit out of an avocado using a large knife that landed me in the emergency room for stitches. I was trying to show my husband a cool technique I saw Rachael Ray do on TV. The moral of the story is one should never show off while one is using a large, sharp knife. On the plus side, it got me out of doing dishes for quite a while.
Anyway, carefully cut the sweet potatoes into fries. trying to make them about the same size so they’ll cook evenly. The next trick I learned from my husband who is a master at what my kids call “fat” French fries, meaning, big, thick crispy on the outside, soft on the inside fries. We know fries in our house. We have two daughters who routinely had sleepovers when they were growing up. As a treat for the girls and their friends my husband deep-fried hand-cut French fries. I know ~ not the healthiest of snacks, but they loved the salty snack with lots of ketchup. Their friends still talk about them. Anyway, place the potatoes in a bowl of warm water just covering the fries for about 10 minutes. I won’t pretend to understand the science around this one, but trust me ~ it works. Crispy fries every time. Once you’ve soaked them, drain the fries and dry them really well with paper towels. That step is really important because any remaining moisture and the fries won’t crisp up.
Then in a large bowl, melt 1 tablespoon of butter, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. I didn’t forget the salt. We’ll add it later. Drop the fries into the bowl and using your hands, mix the fries and oil mixture really well so all the fries are thoroughly coated.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, give it a light spray with whatever cooking spray you have, then transfer the fries to the baking sheet, spreading them in a single layer (2 baking sheets may be necessary). Bake the Baked Sweet Potato Fries 16-20 minutes at 425°, turning about halfway through. The cooking time is approximate, depending on your oven and the thickness of the fries. Once they’re soft inside, crisp outside, shut the oven off, sprinkle on the salt and leave the fries in the oven another 5 minutes to crisp them a bit more.
Optional dipping sauce:
- 1/2 teaspoon of Sriracha
- 1/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt
- 1 – tablespoon of fresh cilantro, minced
- 1 – tablespoon of fresh-squeezed lime juice
This sauce is so tasty you’ll be looking for other things to put it on, but plain ol’ ketchup on these Baked Sweet Potato Fries works well too.
Last a piece of advice – make extra. Every time I make Baked Sweet Potato Fries I munch on one or 4 of 5 of them before we sit down to dinner. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
*NEW* Next week coming to A Gouda Life I’ll be debuting a new feature on the blog. More details Friday on Facebook. I’ll give you a clue. It’ll make your life easier. . .
- 2-3 medium size sweet potatoes
- Aluminum foil
- Cooking spray
- 1 - tablespoon of butter
- 2 - tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
- Coarse sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 425.
- Cut the potatoes, then soak the fries in warm water for 10 minutes.
- Drain the water and completely dry the fries with a paper towel.
- Using the same bowl (now dry) blend the butter, olive oil, chili powder, paprika and pepper.
- Add the fries to the bowl and using your hands, mix the fries and oil until the fries are thoroughly coated.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.
- Transfer the seasoned fries to the baking sheet, spreading in a single layer.
- Bake about 20 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking process.
- NOTE: baking time varies with each oven and the thickness of the fries.
- When the fries are crisp out, soft inside shut off the oven, then sprinkle on the sea salt and return the fries to the oven for 5 minutes to finish the crisping process.