When my friend Krystal told me she was excited to eat sweet potatoes over the holiday because they’re “not something (she) eats normally,” I knew I had to remedy this situation. Don’t normally eat sweet potatoes? I couldn’t think of a shopping trip where I hadn’t brought at least a pound of them home from the market, mostly to make my favorite dish: baked sweet potato fries (though I think the type she was looking forward to over the holidays was more of the sweet, buttery, marshmallowly variety). I told Krystal how I made these healthy alternatives to fries at home all the time — baked in the oven, making them not only healthy but also oh-so-easy. Then when I considered how often I made them, actually, it struck me as odd that I’d never posted the recipe here. In all honesty, it might have something to do with my pervasive fear that such a simple recipe will at best not impress and at worst insult my readers’ culinary abilities. Then again, I know many people (cough ***my husband*** cough) who need consultation on even the most basic kitchen tasks, and who could use a little gentle coaxing into some easy recipes in the kithen (cough*** my husband*** cough). On top of that, I’ve made it a New Years resolution to showcase more naturally gluten-free, low-maintenance recipes here. Even I, the self-proclaimed cooking enthusiast, could use a break at times from any complication in the kitchen. And to make things less comlicated for all of you, I present to you this recipe — one of my all-time faves — in picture.
Baked Chili Sweet Potato Fries:
1. Start by washing and drying 4 medium-sized sweet potatoes. Then slice them one at a time like this:
2. Make sure to tuck your fingers in like this when slicing, so as not to cut yourself if your knife slips:
3. Then cut your slices into fries by stacking your potato slices (you may want to remove the rounded bottom and slice that separately for better support) and cutting them into sticks like this:
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with remaining sweet potatoes. When you’re done slicing, toss your sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt until evenly coated. Lay flat on a baking sheet.
5. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. Toss and lay flat again, then bake for another 15 minutes. If a really crispy fry is desired, you can turn your oven to a high broil for the last five minutes and broil, with your oven door slightly ajar, until sweet potatoes are crispy on top. Watch carefully to make sure they don’t burn.