Friday, May 20, 2011

Spicy Sweet Potato Oven Fries

When I got home from work this evening, I had a craving for sweet potato fries but I didn't want the hassle of dealing with a deep-fat fryer. Well, actually, I didn't want the additional fat and calories of "real" fries, either. So, instead I decided to try my hand at making sweet potato oven fries, with a spicy-salty kick as I was also yearning for some burning, so to speak. Here's what I did:

I thoroughly washed and dried a sweet potato, then used a sharp knife to cut it into french-fry sized pieces. I left the skin on because I enjoy the skin on my fries, be they sweet potato or regular potato fries. I placed the raw sweet potato fries in a bowl and tossed them with some olive oil until completely coated (you can also do this in a resealable plastic bag, especially if using more than one sweet potato). I placed the oil-coated fries in a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkled them with coarse Kosher salt. I then lightly dusted them with some ground habanero powder--CAUTION: Habanero powder is intensely hot! For a tamer heat level, use your choice of coarsely ground black pepper, ground red pepper, cayenne pepper, or even a BBQ dry rub or seasoning such as my favorite, Pig Pen's Seasoning (omit the Kosher salt if using a rub or seasoning that includes salt). For a spicy-sweet flavor, I would recommend any of the Bone Suckin' Rib Rub Seasonings, or sprinkling the fries with a little sugar if you're using Kosher salt and pepper.

To cook the sweet potato fries in my oven, I moved one of the oven racks to the 2nd level below the broiler, rather than the level directly beneath the broiler. I placed the baking sheet on that rack and broiled the fries for about 7 minutes, or until they had just started turning golden. I then removed the baking sheet and stirred the fries so as to turn them over and returned them to the oven to broil for another two or three minutes until they were golden on all sides. I kept my eye on them while they cooked to make sure they didn't burn. Once the sweet potato fries were cooked to my satisfaction, I removed the baking sheet from the oven and placed the fries on my dinner plate. Although they weren't crispy like perfectly deep-fried fries, neither were they soggy or greasy like fries that are poorly cooked in oil that isn't hot enough. More importantly, my spicy oven-fried sweet potato fries completely satisfied my craving for fiery, flavorful and healthy sweet potato fries.

Zestfully yours,

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