18 September 2009

Oven-Fried Sweet Potato Wedges

Another recipe from my favorite cookbook, Perfect Vegetables.

Oven-Fried Sweet Potato Wedges

1 tsp plus 1 tbsp peanut oil
2 lbs. sweet potatoes, scrubbed (about 3 medium)

Preheat oven to 400°. Place ½ tsp of the oil on each of two rimmed foil-lined baking sheets. Use a paper towel to spread the oil evenly over the entire surface and place both sheets in the oven.

Cut each sweet potato lengthwise into eight thick wedges. Toss them with the remaining tbsp of oil to coat. Season generously with salt and toss again to blend. Remove one baking sheet from the oven and place half the sweet potatoes on it cut-side down. Spread them out so that they do not touch each other. Return the baking sheet to the oven and repeat the process using the second baking sheet and the remaining potatoes.

Bake until the cut side of the sweet potatoes touching the baking sheet is crusty and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove each baking sheet and carefully turn the sweet potatoes. Bake until the second cut side is crusty and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

So, they didn't turn out very crispy for me. I know that it is difficult to get sweet potato fries crispy on the outside. They contain much more moisture than white potatoes so their sugars don't carmelize as easily. According to Cook's Illustrated (the editors of the cookbook), preheating the baking sheet and the oil will greatly increase the chances of getting crispy fries. Mine didn't crisp at all and I think it may be because of a mistake I made. I accidentally used olive oil. I don't have peanut oil, but I was going to use vegetable oil instead of the olive oil. But, after drizzling them, I suddenly realized that the olive oil bottle was in my hand instead of the vegetable oil bottle! Whoops! The other thing that may have sabotaged the crispiness is that I didn't measure the oil and I think I used too much. Too much oil may cause sogginess instead of crispiness.

But even without the crispy exterior I was expecting, these were delicious! I love love love sweet potatoes and have been wanting to try an oven-baked fry recipe for a while. The insides will be really soft and mushy because of the nature of the sweet potato. The book mentioned that there is nothing you can do to make the insides fluffy like white potato fries. Even though they didn't get crispy on the outside, they had great color and carmelization on the outside. They definitely hit the spot for me.

I dipped them in Southwest Sauce, which is a chipotle mayonnaise. Yum!

I am looking forward to trying these again with the right oil and the right amount of it.

This is what they look like before baking.

My sister tells me that my adorable nephew, Noah, loves these sweet potato fries. Isn't he a cutie?


Hilary said...

Made these last night and Noah loved them! A little messy because he insisted on pulling them apart and then eating them, but they were easy to make and since he could feed them to himself, I got to eat my dinner while it was still warm.

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