Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Recipe tip: Sweet potato fries

Here's a crowd-pleasing, easy and inexpensive side to add to tomorrow night's dinner: sweet potato fries. Well, actually, I use yams. And the side isn't fried, it's roasted. So maybe the entire thing is a misnomer and I should rename it Roasted Yam Slices. Nah, let's stick to what people know.

Get out your ingredients:
  • one yam per person
  • olive oil
  • salt (I prefer kosher salt)
  • pepper

Get out your tools:
  • fork
  • cutting board
  • good knife
  • rimmed baking sheet (the non-rimmed varieties will work, too, but have greater potential for spills)
Get out your (limited) cooking skills:
1) Wash the yams and use a fork to poke holes in the yams. Preheat the oven to 400.

2) Soften the yams and make them easier to slice by heating them in the microwave. I've found 3 minutes is a good amount of time to achieve the right texture and avoid playing extreme hot potato.

3) Cut the yams into half-inch thick slices. First, I cut off the ends of the yams. Then, I cut each yam into quarters and make slices from the quarters.


4) Place the yam slices on your baking sheet. Drizzle the slices with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. (Note: Matt and I used to think that we needed to toss the yams on the baking sheet to evenly coat all yams with olive oil, but I actually prefer letting them be because this method allows them to better caramelize.)


5) Now here comes the tricky part: cooking time. It really depends on your oven and the thickness of the yam slices. Usually 30 to 40 minutes does the trick.  Matt likes his yams extra crispy (read: burnt). The other night we cooked the yams for 35 minutes, and 30 minutes would have been more to my liking. If you're concerned, check out your yams at 25 minutes.
Then....beautiful sweet potato fries (or roasted yam slices) ready to get in your belly.

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