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How to Cook Truly CRISPY Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries

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How to get delicious and most importantly CRISPY Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries. Follow this tried and tested 5 step method and you won’t be disappointed!

There seriously is nothing, and I mean NOTHING better than a batch of hot, sweet and salty, crispy sweet potato fries. There’s so many great things the sweet potato brings us in life, but nothing greater than the classic fry. Having said that though, there really is nothing more disappointing in life than a batch of soggy sweet potato fries. Ugh, doesn’t the thought of it just make your heart sink? But unfortunately it’s a far too common scenario, especially when making homemade sweet potato fries and more specifically, when baking them in the oven. It’s not easy! Getting crispy sweet potatoes using the oven is an art. But there is hope.

I have searched far and wide, and tested too many batches I care to even think about, in order to crack the code of getting crispy oven baked sweet potato fries every single time. Thankfully, I am here today to tell you that I’ve cracked it.

Look, I’m probably making it out to be a lot more difficult than it actually is, because once you try this method you’ll realise it’s a piece of cake. Could you just deep fry the bloomin’ things? Yes. But where’s the fun in that? Plus my waistline can’t deal with much more deep frying. So oven baked it is.

Are you ready for the crispy baked sweet potato fry challenge?


Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries – 5 Easy Steps

1. Size Matters

Grab yourself the largest sweet potato you can find, because they’re easier to handle. Peel and slice in half. From there you want to slice into about 1/4″ segments (photo below for guidance). The first mistake people make is making their fries too thick. It’s incredibly difficult to get crispy sweet potato wedges in the oven, it’s better to slice them too thin than too think.

The second crucial step is to make sure they are all uniformly cut. Whether you’ve sliced them too thick, too thick or end up with pieces that look like shattered glass, at least make sure they’re all the same size so everything cooks at the same rate.

2. Soak and dry

Soak them in a bowl of cold water for at least 45mins. You can actually do this way in advance and pop in the fridge, the longer the better.

Soaking your fries in water will pull out starch from the potato, resulting in a soft inside and a crispy outside. You’ll actually see all the starch at the bottom of the bowl after soaking them, which is strangely satisfying.

At the same time it is important that you dry the fries like you’ve never dried a fry before. Seriously, once they’ve had their bath we don’t want a spec of water left on them.

3. The power of Cornflour!

Or cornstarch depending on what part of the world you’re from. Okay, so you’ve pulled the starch from the potato in order to get them soft, but you want the outside to be crispy, so you’ve gotta do some DIY. Cornstarch is perfect for this. A thin coating of cornstarch is key to get that crispy outside you’re after.

Grab a large ziplock bag, place in your fries and a dusting of cornstarch. I find that 1 tbsp per large sweet potato does the trick. Give it a really good shake to ensure a full even coating. You don’t want too much otherwise the fries will taste dusty, so pour out any excess cornstarch left at the bottom of the bag.

Now it’s time for seasoning, and this really is up to your tastebuds. I usually put in a tsp of smoked paprika. Other spices that work well are cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper. I’ve also done a combo of rosemary and garlic before which came out nice!

HOWEVER, whatever you do, don’t add salt. One more time, do not add salt at this point. I’ve experimented by adding salt before and after the cooking process and adding it before they go in the oven seems to wilt the fries too much. Adding salt at the end drawers out that final bit of moisture without leaving them too wrinkly.

The key with oil is using one with a high smoking point. As tempting as it is to use olive oil you must resist! Some olive oils can have a smoking point as low as 320f/160c which is no good when we are cooking the fries at 430f/220c. Oils such as peanut oil, sunflower oil and avocado oil have much higher smoking points. Here is a great article on smoking points of oils.

Here I use 1tbsp avocado oil.

4. The baking method – broken down

First things first, you want to either spray the tray with a light coating of oil, or use heavy duty foil so the fries don’t stick.

Secondly you want to make sure you don’t overcrowd the fries. As the fries cook they will release steam, if they are crowded together they are going to consequently steam instead of roast. These sweet potato fries are divas, give them space. Use two trays if you need to.

You want to cook them on a high heat, so as I mentioned earlier you’re looking at 430f/220c. Ironically you don’t want to bake these fries, you want to roast the heck out of them. Cooking on a low heat will bake them, leaving them soft and soggy. Because the fries are quite thin it’s not going to take long at all for the inside to cook, so a short(ish) sharp stint of high heat will focus on getting the outside crispy.

After around 15mins you want to take them out, flip them over and put the trays back in the opposite way. This will ensure an even roast across the board.

From there on out it usually takes around another 10-15mins until they risk burning. You will find they go slightly black but wilth baked sweet potato fries unfortunately that’s inevitable.

5. The aftercare

Once cooked, the key is to turn off the heat and open the oven door. This step is crucial for crispiness. Strangely sweet potato fries become more crispy as they cool, so let them rest for a good 15 mins.

After, it’s finally time for the salt to draw out that final bit of lingering moisture and allow the final ‘crisping’ phase.

And what’s a batch of crispy oven baked sweet potato fries with out your favourite dip? For me it’s sriracha mayo every darn time. Oh I also like to sprinkle a lil chopped fresh parsley, which somehow justifies eating an entire batch to myself.

Well there we have it folks, it’s over to you. Are you ready for the crispy sweet potato fry challenge?

How to make Truly Crispy Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries (Full Recipe & Video)

  • 2 Large Sweet Potatoes, peeled
  • 2 tbsp Cornstarch/Cornflour
  • 2 tbsp Oil with high smoking point e.g Avocado, Vegetable, Sunflower
  • 2 tsp Seasoning of choice e.g Paprika, Smoked Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Cumin
  • Salt, to taste

Prep

  • Slice your Sweet Potato in half (vertically) and then slice into 1/4″ strips. Then cut your strips into 1/4″ by 1/4″ fries.
  • Soak in a bowl of cold water for a minimum of 45mins. Completely dry to remove as much moisture as possible.
  • Place in a large zip lock bag with your Cornstarch. Shake, then remove excess that didn’t stick. Add your Seasoning (no salt), shake to completely coat, then add your Oil and repeat.
  • Evenly space out on an oven tray that is either lined with heavy duty foil or has been sprayed with oil.

Cooking

  • Place in a preheated oven at 430f/220c for 15 mins.
  • Take out, flip the fries and place tray back in the other way around to ensure an even bake. Cook for another 10-15mins or until just turning dark brown.

Aftercare

  • Turn off oven, open the door slightly and leave for 15mins, or until they begin to crisp.
  • Take out and sprinkle Salt to taste. Leave for a few minutes to extract the last bit of moisture from the skin, allowing for the final stage of crispiness.
  • Enjoy with your favourite dip!
a) Fresh Potatoes – Aim to get to get the freshest sweet potato you can find. Leave the soft one knocking about at the back of your cupboards for some mash a different day.   b) Uniformed – When cutting your fries it’s essential to get them all uniformed in size. It is also better to have them thinner rather than thicker.   c) Shake it off –  Once you’ve fully coated your fries with cornstarch, remove any excess that didn’t stick. Leaving it there and mixing it in with the oil will create clumps that’ll stick the fries and cause them to taste powdery.   d) Spatula – Contrary to the recipe video, I don’t recommend flipping the fries half way through with your fingers. I just have fireproof fingers. Use a spatula 🙂   e) Timings – Unfortunately cooking times will differ slightly on the make of your oven, the size of fries you cut, the position of the fries on the tray etc etc. The ends of the fries are likely to turn slightly black, but just be vigilant throughout to ensure the whole fry doesn’t burn.   f) The dip I served with is Sriracha Mayo. To make your own simply combine 4tbsp Mayo, 1 tsp Sriracha, a squeeze of Lime Juice and a sprinkle of chopped Fresh Parsley.   g) Calories are based served between 4 people.   h) Technique inspiration came from layerofhappiness, cookieandkate, thecookful and foodiewithfamily

Calories: 158kcal

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The Crisper Whisperer: How to Glaze Root Vegetables Recipe

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One of the first lessons you learn in culinary school is the unyielding power of mispronounced French words. Culinary French don’t sound purdy, but it can inspire a vast range of emotion, from dread to desire, among the clog-wearing set.

Few words wield more fury than the unassuming-sounding tournage, the name for the meticulous cutting of vegetables out of hand into small, seven-faced footballs, often for hours at a stretch. If the ability to tourne carrots, turnips, and potatoes is not particularly relevant for the vast majority of professional chefs these days, schools don’t see that as reason to cancel the plumage-fest that its teaching inevitably becomes.

You might not think this topic bears heavily on the home cook, but it does. Because of tournage, home cooks have been robbed blind of one of the simplest and most delicious methods of cooking winter’s abundance of root vegetables. The classic French practice of glazing is quick and rewarding and produces a surprisingly elegant result (which bears little resemblance to the cloying dishes sometimes called glazed vegetables in the United States).

More Whispers

For whatever reasons to do with peacocks and machismo and what have you, the perfectly proper way to glaze root vegetables requires that you tourne them first. But chopping them into bite-sized pieces gets you 99 percent of the way to perfection with maybe one percent of the effort. I’m no Good Will Hunting, but that looks like 100 to me.

French glazed vegetables are cooked in a shallow bath of water fortified with small amounts of butter and sugar. One of the few tricks to glazing (and it’s a trick home cooks should learn anyway, since it’s widely applicable and cheap as hell) is to cover the cooking vegetables with a cartouche, a circle of parchment paper with a hole cut out of the middle. This method makes the cooking liquid evaporate slowly, giving the vegetables time to cook through gently and leaving you with just the right amount of glaze. Unlike tournage, cartouche is the kind of poorly pronounced culinary French that you’ll want to keep in your vocabulary.

This week I’ve glazed carrots because that’s what we had in our crisper, but this method works beautifully with just about all root vegetables, from turnips to parsnips to beets to pearl onions. If you’re combining vegetables into one dish, classic technique would have you cook each separately to ensure perfect tenderness, but if you cut them all about the same size, it’s perfectly reasonable (I’d say a lot more so, in fact) to cook them all together. Just be sure not to crowd the pan beyond a single layer, or the veggies won’t brown properly.

Ingredients

    • 5 medium carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (or other root vegetables, to yield about 2 cups)
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
    • Salt and pepper
    • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley and/or chives, for garnish

Directions

  1. 1.

    Prepare a cartouche by cutting a circle of parchment the size of your sauté pan with a circular hole in the center. This is a good tutorial, except that you should snip off the pointy end of the triangle to make a hole in the center for steam to escape. (If this sounds like poorly pronounced French to you right now, it will make more sense after watching the short video.)

  2. 2.

    Melt the butter in a medium, heavy-bottomed sauté pan (preferably not non-stick) over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and toss to coat with butter. Sprinkle with the sugar and some salt and pepper. Pour in water to go about halfway up the carrots, not more than 1/2 cup. Cover with the cartouche and adjust the heat to maintain a brisk simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the carrots are just tender on the outside and still a bit too firm in the center.

  3. 3.

    Remove the cartouche, return the heat to medium-high, and cook the carrots uncovered, shaking the pan occasionally, until they brown in spots and the liquid is reduced to just enough glaze to coat the carrots, about 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley or chives (or other herbs of your choice) and serve.

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Dinner Tonight: Broccoli Sautéed with Crisp Garlic Recipe

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Gordon Ramsay’s In the Heat of the Kitchen has been fun to look through, but I haven’t really been able to put it to much use. Most of the recipes seem rather complex for a hectic weekday night. So I was a little surprised to find this quick little broccoli recipe stuck between “Caramelized baby onions with beet jus” and “corn fritters with lime crème fraîche.” With only eight ingredients, seven of which I had already, this proved to be a perfectly practical side.

While the crisp garlic is fun and those onions sure do add a lot of sweetness, what really separates this dish from a standard accompaniment is the oyster sauce. It somehow binds all the ingredients and transforms this into an interesting side dish worth paying attention to. It’s such a simple addition, too. This, of course, all depends on whether you have oyster sauce just hanging around the fridge ready to go in to random dishes. I do. Its cost is so small, and it keeps surprising me with dishes like this one.

Ingredients

  • 1 head broccoli, thick stems removed, and cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower or olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. 1.

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Also, get a large bowl of ice water ready. When the water is boiling, dump the broccoli in and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain the broccoli and transfer to the ice water. When cooled, dry the broccoli in a towel.

  2. 2.

    Pour the oil into a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic slivers and saute until golden brown. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.

  3. 3.

    Toss the onions into the pan and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the broccoli and cook until hot, about 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat, pour in the oyster sauce, and sprinkle the garlic slivers atop. Season with salt and serve.

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James Peterson’s Pickled Chiles

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Pickled chiles are a versatile pantry staple. They can be used to add mouth-puckering tang to just about any place you’d ordinarily use hot peppers, they keep for weeks at a time, and they take all of five minutes to prepare.

While it is easy to throw just about anything into a hot pickle brine, James Peterson keeps his pickled chiles simple in Vegetables.

Encouraging readers to experiment with chile varieties (he recommends both hot jalapenos and mild poblanos), he provides a barebones description of the technique as well as a slightly more elaborate recipe. Still, even in the recipe, he adds only onion, garlic, and thyme to the chiles and covers them with brine made of nothing but boiling white wine vinegar and salt.

Ingredients

  • about 1 pound assorted large fresh chiles, such as poblano, Anaheim, or New Mexico, or 1 1/4 pounds small fresh chiles, such as jalapenos
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme or marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 3 cups white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

Directions

  1. 1.

    Rinse off the chiles and remove their stems. Cut large chiles in half lengthwise and, wearing rubber gloves, pull out their seeds. Leave small chiles whole. Fill a 1-quart mason jar with the chiles, distributing the onion, garlic, thyme, and salt evenly among the layers or chiles. Bring the vinegar to a boil and immediately pour it over the chiles. Be sure the chiles are completely covered with the hot vinegar. Immediately twist on the cap and let cool without opening. Refrigerate the chiles and serve within several weeks.

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