Growing up one of the special treats my mom would prepare for dinner anywhere from autumn to spring was a baked sweet potato. I loved diving into its bright orange interior after spreading a small pat of butter over it and sprinkling it with salt and black pepper. I loved it’s lusciously velvety texture and earthy sweet taste. I loved it so much, and to be honest I would scrape it clean down to its skin. It was an intense food experience for a young Italian American girl form New Jersey! As I grew up, moved away, traveled, and started cooking on my own I discovered there were endless possibilities when it comes to a sweet potato. I have sautéed, roasted, steamed, pureed, made soups, fillings, and even stews with them. It was like a new revelation in each sweet potato cooking experiment. Of all the alternative ways I tried to prepare them, I was miffed when it came to sweet potato fries. As simple as it sounds I really struggle with this. I tried many different ways to fry them and they came up underwhelming, and unsatisfied. They were either soggy, too crispy, really dark in color, somewhat undercooked, and just straight up bad! So the other night I baked my sweet potato fries, the result was pure awesome. They were crispy and tender without the fuss of deep frying. Not to mention by baking them they are much healthier option. But there is a bad side to this…They were so easy to make these may become a regular occurrence! That and the creamy lime dipping sauce I paired them with. Trust me on this one - baked sweet potato fries are not short of being impressive.
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
*Note: Figure at least one average sized potato per person for this recipe.
Sweet potatoes, cleaned well
Black pepper, freshly ground
First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Slice your sweet potato in half lengthwise (keeping the skin on). Follow by then slicing your half in half again; lengthwise. Take each of your quarters and slice them again in the same fashion. You are looking to get 10 to 14 pieces from each sweet potato depending on the sweet potatoes size. So each sweet potato piece should be no bigger than an inch thick.
Next, line a sheet pan or two (depending on how many sweet potatoes you are making) with parchment paper. Lay the sweet potato slices on the pans spacing them apart slightly. Brush the sweet potatoes lightly with olive oil on all sides. Sprinkle them with the sea salt and black pepper and place them in the oven for 30-40 minutes, rotating and stirring them half way though.
Finally, keeping an eye on your sweet potatoes you are looking for them to be golden and slightly crispy. When they do appear to be crispy on the outside and tender on the inside when pierced they are done. Serve while hot.
Creamy Lime Dip (makes about 1 cup)
3 tbsp of sour cream
2 tbsp of Greek yogurt
2 tbsp of mayo
¼ cup of onion, minced
1 lime, zested and juiced
¼ tsp of ground cumin
Sea salt to taste
First, place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk it well until it looks creamy and even. Taste it to adjust the seasoning.
Finally, place in the mixture in the refrigerator and chill for at least an hour before serving. (Can be made ahead of time and stored in a sealed container for up to for days.)