Monday, January 31, 2011

Simple sweet potato fries

In Michael Pollan's Food Rules, one of the rules that I follow often is "Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself." He suggests if you do it yourself you'll you won't do it as often due to the amount of time required. He talks specifically about French fries, which as it turns out aren't that hard to make, but definitely take more time than rolling up to a fast food window.

You'll likely make things that are slightly healthier by making them from scratch. And being able to choose your ingredients means you can get what's local and seasonal (those of you in New England with potatoes in your pantry, I'm talking to you). For this recipe, I used sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes to provide more vitamins and a sweetness that no one can pass up (inspired by Yoav).


  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 C canola oil
  • 1 T salt
  • parchment paper

The trick to getting perfect fries is to cut them all the exact same size and rather skinny (about 1cm x 1cm). Potatoes have a tendency to roll around on the cutting board. To prevent this, cut off a part of one side to serve to stabilize. Then whenever it starts to feel shaky, turn it again to stabilize. Once you've got the flat pieces it's pretty easy to make the sticks.

In a very large bowl, pour the oil and half of the salt over the potato sticks. Mix to coat well. You can do this part ahead of time and let sit for up to 12 hours. After that the potatoes will start to lose their moisture.

Place in an even single layer on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. I don't like to use parchment paper, but I have a feeling that if I didn't I'd never get them off the cookie sheet.

Place the cookie sheet in the oven preheated to 475ºF. Don't touch them. Enjoy the chirping sound emanating from the oven as they roast, but fight the urge to jostle or flip them. Pull them out after 25 minutes. They'll be a bit charred on the edges and bubbly in the middle. Sprinkle a little more salt on them and serve.

1 comment:

  1. Great minds think alike ;)