Thursday, March 4, 2010

Recipes for Health: Oven Fries

My love for sweet potatoes is relatively new. We always had mashed sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving dinner, but I didn't like the taste of them until last year (or at least I thought I didn't like the taste -- I probably didn't even try them and assumed I didn't like them. I've gotten more adventurous with food since then, thank goodness). Last year I made Ina Garten's baked sweet potato fries which were delicious, and when I saw Martha Rose Shulman's oven fries were one of the most e-mailed stories on the New York Times site, I thought it would only be fair to test them out as well. Since they're a Recipe for Health, I get to continue my challenge and eat some tasty fries. Everybody wins!
Yummm...though the photo does not do these fries the justice they so deserve, looking at this picture makes me want to bake these babies up again, and SOON. They're addicting. Plus, they're good for you! Sweet potatoes have a ton of nutritional benefits -- they're complex carbohydrates that are rich in fiber, beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin B6. They even have a little protein! Plus, these fries are baked, not fried. Stir them up with some olive oil and salt, bake at 450, and you've got a tasty little side dish. Enjoy!

1 pound waxy potatoes, such as red potatoes - I didn't use these
1 pound sweet potatoes, cut in half crosswise - I used one sweet potato and cut them up into a fry shape rather than wedges
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil - I used about 1 T extra virgin olive oil with my one sweet potato
Kosher salt or coarse sea salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil, shiny side up. Place in the oven while you prepare the potatoes.
  2. Cut the potatoes into wedges that are 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick at the thickest point and toss with the olive oil and salt. - I cut mine into a fry shape
  3. Remove the hot pan from the oven, and add the potatoes to the pan in an even layer. (Ed. note: Don't spray the foil with nonstick spray, the potatoes will burn!) They should sizzle. Return to the oven, and lower the heat to 450 degrees. Roast 25 minutes or until tender.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven, and loosen the potatoes from the foil using an offset spatula (I used a fork). Return to the oven and cook for another five minutes. Serve at once, seasoned with more salt if desired.
Serve right away! Makes about four to six servings (or one if you use one potato!).

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