Oh potatoes, how I love thee. You are indeed my favorite carbohydrate, especially when you are in french fry or potato chip form. (I’ve yet to meet a bagful of kettle cooked chips I could resist.) Thankfully, I also have a hankering for sweet potatoes, a healthier root veggie that performs as well as its starchier sister. Sweet potatoes make especially good french fries, though these “fries” don’t require a vat of oil. Instead, you can bake these babies, which not only releases their nutty flavor, but still retains the crunchiness of a frite. We often have them with turkey burgers, which is on the menu for dinner this evening.
Tonight, I’ll be using a garnet yam, which is technically not a sweet potato, but close enough. The garnets have a delightfully deep orange color and a slightly sweeter aftertaste. I usually serve them sans sauce, but they’d also be great with an aioli of sorts, as they were at our wedding last September. (Johnny is also a sweet potato fan, so we chose sweet potato fries as one of the hor d’oeuvres at our cocktail hour.) Those were by far the best sweet potato fries we’ve ever eaten, but the ones I make at home are pretty tasty, and almost certainly healthier.
After scrubbing the yam or sweet potato, cut it into fry-like strips, leaving the skin on. (The thinner you slice them, the crispier they will be.) Put the strips in a bowl, drizzle some olive oil over them and toss to coat. Spread the fries on a baking sheet, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper (you can also use cayenne or cumin if you like a spicier spud) and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until the fries are crispy. Turn them at the 20 minute mark to ensure even cooking.