Baked Sweet Potato Fries Challenge

It all started at an unassuming restaurant in North Lake Tahoe. My mom ordered a sandwich and got some sweet potato fries on the side. Now, I’m not a big fries fan. I rarely, if ever, order them. However, I decided to give these fries a try and …. They were pretty darn good! They had a crispy coating, soft interior, and a curry seasoning on the outside. I liked the natural sweetness of the potato that came through. I decided to make some at home with some sweet potatoes I picked up at the farmer’s market. I baked the fries. I’m always trying to lighten up the food I eat at home!

I found two recipes online and just couldn’t decide between them. So, I decided it was time for a (drum roll please) SWEET POTATO FRIES CHALLENGE!!

The two are very different fries, but my taste tester and I were able to decide on a winner (revealed below)!

Recipe A: savory, garlicky, crispy fry

Recipe B: sweet, dessert-like, thick, sticky-coated fry

Taste tester and I both agreed … Recipe A is the winner! We decided that since the sweet potato is already sweet, the coating (containing graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and cinnamon) on Recipe B resulted in an overly-sweet fry. Recipe A was a yummy balance of sweet and savory. Also, Recipe A was so crispy, which is a challenge to achieve when baking fries. Congratulations to our winner!

Recipe adapted from http://purplefoodie.com/garlicky-baked-fries/

Winning Recipe: 

3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into thin slices
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin

Preheat oven to 400° F and line a baking sheet with foil. Mix the garlic and oil in a large bowl. Put in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm up and infuse the oil with garlic essence. Coat the baking sheet with about a tablespoon of the oil so the fries won’t stick (leave the garlic in the bowl). Add the cut up sweet potatoes to the bowl with the garlic/oil mixture, toss to coat evenly. Wrap the bowl tightly in plastic wrap. Put the bowl in the microwave and cook on full power until the potatoes start to get soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Shake  the bowl halfway through cooking.

Mix the cornstarch, salt, pepper and cumin  in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the hot sweet potatoes, tossing to coat evenly. Arrange the sweet potatoes in a single layer on the baking pan and put in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, use a spatula to turn the fries over on the pan. Cook an additional 10 minutes or until the fries are crispy and start turning brown. Serve immediately with ketchup or a dipping sauce of your choice.

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