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Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries


I am absolutely overjoyed that sweet potatoes are finally getting the recognition they deserve. As we posted before, sweet potatoes have been sited on an endless number of food trend lists for 2011. According to the following sites, we’ll be seeing sweet potatoes in packaged goods, confections, everyday meals and at restaurants… and we’re not just talking fries here.

  • Specialtyfood.com predicts the sweet potatoes will be a hot flavor in confections.
  • Epicurious.com predicts that sweet potatoes will be crowned the vegetable of 2011!
  • Good Housekeeping states that the sweet potato has officially migrated from the Thanksgiving table. Hoorah!

Yes it’s true, we want to move beyond the fry, but we can’t forget the fry. We love the fry, we OWE the fry. The fry is what has encouraged Americans to look at sweet potatoes beyond mash covered in a blanket of toasted marshmallows. The fry is what started this whole sweet potato craze. So in honor of the trusty sweet potato fry, I give you my official recipe for crispy BAKED sweet potato fries, because after all, health is definitely trending.

CRISPY BAKED SWEET POTATO FRIES
4 North Carolina sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds)
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste (and any other spices you want to experiment with i.e., paprika, curry, cumin, etc.)

Preheat oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil; spray with cooking spray or brush with oil. Cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch matchsticks*; place them in a large bowl. (I like my fries “rustic” so I don’t peel them, plus the skin is loaded with nutrients!) Add oil, toss until evenly coated. Sprinkle with flour, salt and pepper. Toss until all the flour has stuck to the sweet potatoes and there is none left at the bottom of the bowl. Spread sweet potatoes into one layer on baking sheet without overcrowding (you will have to bake in batches). Bake in oven for 10 minutes; give them a quick stir and continue cooking until cooked through and slightly brown, about 8-10 minutes longer. Remove from oven and pair with your favorite dipping sauce.

*Because sweet potatoes are not perfect rectangles, this can prove to be difficult. Click here for a video with easy instructions on how to cut a sweet potato (cutting begins at :32-:43) or follow the sequence in the photo below. You want the matchsticks to be as uniform as possible so that some don’t cook faster than others, causing them to burn. And remember, that they will shrink when they bake so leaving them a thick and boxy is okay.