oven- baked sweet potato fries
I have a thing with fries. I love those crispy little sticks but it seems so often when I try to make them at home they’re not quite what I’m looking for. I found a cure for my regular fries (if you haven’t tried this recipe, trust me they’re awesomely delicious), but I still haven’t found a great way to make sweet potato fries. Then last week as I was cruising along over at serious eats I saw super simple recipe for oven fried sweet potatoes that promised to be crispy. It didn’t take much to convince me that it was time to try it out.
I love a simple recipe and this one is the epitome of simple: sweet potatoes and oil, plus a little salt if you’d like. I simply peeled the potatoes and sliced them into slender sticks. After coating a pan with oil, I laid my sticks in the pan and popped it in the oven. That’s it.
The trick to getting the fries crispy without burning them is to turn the oven down after about 15 minutes so the potatoes dry out a bit. I have to admit, this got a little complicated for me most likely for a few reasons. First, my oven has no specific temperature gage (crazy I know), so I was kept messing with the temperature. Second, I’m ancy and therefore opened the oven about 800 times, which dramatically effects the temperature. Excuses aside, I still got a crispy result, it just took a little longer than the recipe says. I have confidence that you will get crispy fries without waiting as long as I did.
At long last I finally got my crispy sweet potato fries. They’re not crispy in a greasy way, just a nice little crunch with a soft, sweet interior. Some of them got a little dark on the edges but I like that… the potatoes get all caramely. I added a sprinkle of salt and that’s all they needed. I’ll definitely be using this recipe again and again, perhaps experimenting with different spices and dipping sauces.
Baked Sweet Potato Fries recipe
adapted from serious eats
makes 4 servings
3 tablespoons high-oleic safflower oil or extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds sweet potatoes
Salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Line 2 baking trays with foil and coat each with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil.
Peel the sweet potatoes and use a very sharp knife to cut them first into thin slices (1/4 inch or less) and then into long batons at ¼-inch intervals. (These measures are all approximate of course.)
Arrange the batons in single layers on the baking trays and place the trays in the oven. After 10 minutes, use togs to turn the sweet potatoes over and let them back another 5 to 10 minutes on the second side until fork tender. (Careful not to let them burn! This will depend on the thickness of the pieces, so you’ll need to watch them.)
If you like softer “fries,” take them out of the oven now. If you prefer a crisper result, turn the oven down to 200°F and leave the trays in there for up to 20 minutes. (This will give the sweet potatoes a chance to dry out a little and acquire some texture. They will shrink somewhat in volume.) Remove the trays from the oven, salt the sweet potatoes lightly, and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.