Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries for One

I'm a sweet potato fry addict. I love them from food trucks, in restaurants and now even at home. To be honest, my favorite sweet potato fries are from Carl's Jr. (gross, I know). Since I'm supposed to be eating healthier, battered and fried fast foods aren't really in my diet — so I've been playing around with different recipes to a quick and easy baked version.

I've never been much of a cook, so when I'm in the kitchen a lot of what I do is trial and error. My fries kept turning out soggy and limp, but after a few different attempts, I finally found a recipe that works for me! This recipe can be adapted for large batches, but since my husband doesn't like sweet potatoes, I make a single serving that's easy to prep and quick to bake.

Chopped, before seasoning
After preheating your oven to 400 degrees (425 if your oven runs cool), you'll want to start by washing and peeling your potato, then chopping it into french fry-sized pieces — I've found that narrow pieces work better than wedges if you want crispier fries.

Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss gently (if your potato is on the smaller side, start with less olive oil — you can always add more, but don't want the fries saturated). Then, you'll want to coat them with the cornstarch, which helps the fries crisp up in the oven. You may not end up using the entire tablespoon, which is fine.

Once they're very lightly coated with cornstarch, you can add your seasoning. I love the house seasoning by Paula Deen (salt, pepper and garlic powder) because it has a really salty spiciness that enhances the flavor of the fries. You can also try combinations of other seasonings — simple salt and pepper, or a sweeter flavor with cinnamon complemented by a maple mayo dipping sauce.

Once they're tossed, lay the fries out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Don't place them too close together or you'll have a hard time getting them to crisp up (I think the water in the potatoes turns into steam, and they just become a soggy mess).

Seasoned and ready for the oven

Bake for 20 minutes, checking to make sure they aren't burning, then enjoy while warm with ketchup or a dipping sauce of your choice. Yum!

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