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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Recipe! Perfect Sweet Potato Fries

Recently, I was bitten by the sweet potato bug. It's a brutal sort of illness, one which demands long hours of sweet potato preparation and a great deal of mediocre dishes before finally resolving itself in tears of unadulterated joy and a batch of perfected sweet potato fries.

Fortunately for everyone involved, I've scoured the internet in search of the perfect sweet-potato-fry method and as it happens...the best idea is to combine the wisdom of the Internet and kind of mix and match methods until you achieve perfection. A long process, yes, and completely worth it.

Now, two things about sweet potato fries are fairly undisputed: They will never be as crispy as russet fries, and they will always be crispier if fried instead of baked. However, fried food should always be kept at an absolute minimum. So how then can the practical, at home cook create delicious oven-baked sweet potato fries?

Well, it's absolutely possible, and fairly easy...just somewhat tedious. I would classify sweet potato fries as a "labor of love", much like kaya toast, flourless chocolate cake, or brown rice risotto.  The method here is very important, but the seasonings can be tailored to suit your desire. The recipe I have here is for spicy-sweet potato fries...yours can be seasoned any way you like!

One thing sure to use parchment paper and a good-size cookie sheet. You need to make sure that they fries don't stick or crowd one another!

Sweet Potato Fries

2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
1 t molasses
1 T olive oil
1/2 t salt
1/4 t chipotle powder
1/2 t brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut sweet potatoes into even pieces. You can skin them first if you desire, or leave the skin on and scrub well. Transfer potatoes to a bowl of cold water, making sure they are all covered. Allow to soak for at least thirty minutes and up to four hours. Drain and rinse well.

2. Fill a large pot a little above the halfway mark with water, put on high heat until boiling. Add potatoes and parboil for 2-4 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water until cool enough to touch.

3. Toss all remaining ingredients in a Ziplock bag, seal, and squeeze until mixed. Then toss in potatoes and shake until all pieces are evenly coated. Transfer to large cookie sheet covered with parchment. Spread fries out enough that they don't touch; fries should not be crowded or they will not cook correctly. Place cookie sheet in preheated oven

4. Every seven minutes, stir and flip fries. Once this has been done four or five times - or once the fries look done - set oven to broil at five hundred degrees and broil fries until they begin to brown, checking them every minute or so to ensure that they do not burn. Serve immediately!

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