Saturday, March 31, 2012

Homemade Sweet Potato Fries & Honey Mustard

I've had a pretty great week. In the past seven days I've been at home with my family, started new classes, delivered a killer presentation, met and taught a group of awesome students, and landed two internship gigs. More on all that in the next couple of weeks.

There is absolutely no connection between sweet potato fries and all the things that have happened this week. Unless you count the fact that they are both awesome...which they are.

Sweet potatoes are one of those things I never really tried until college, but once I did I was hooked. Since I've been cooking for myself, I try to keep a couple in the pantry at all times. When I'm feeling super lazy, I poke a few holes in one, zap it in the microwave, and top it with peanut butter, cinnamon, and a little brown sugar for a simple lunch or dinner that tastes like dessert.

Messy, but oh so delicious.

If I have a little more time, though, I opt for the fry preparation (because let's face it, who doesn't like fries?). You could buy the frozen ones at the store instead...but if you throw them together as the oven's preheating, it's just as fast and even more delicious to make them yourself! This is the same basic method that I use for regular potatoes, except that I usually cook those somewhere between 400 and 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Use a sharp knife--sweet potatoes can be hard to cut.
Serves 1

Ingredients

1 sweet potato
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Paprika
(or other seasonings as desired)

Steps

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Scrub and dry the sweet potato; peel if desired (I like the skin, so I leave it on).

2.  Slice the sweet potato in half, and then into quarters.

Ugly on the outside, pretty on the inside?


Hold the round side of each quarter and cut it into slices, about half an inch thick.

These are a bit thick--I ended up slicing a few of those pieces
in half.

Rotate the potato quarter 90 degrees, so that you now have a stack of slices. Make two or three cuts through the stack so that you end up with fry-shaped pieces.

We are not striving for perfection here.

You can make these as thick or as thin as you want, but be aware that cooking times may change. I like to have some variation in size, so that some end up crunchy while others are still soft.

3.  Toss the fries with the olive oil. Add a bit of salt and pepper, and a few good shakes of paprika. Toss to coat.

For best results, coat the fries in olive oil first...
...then add the spices and toss again.

4.  Grease a cookie sheet with olive oil or Pam. Spread the fries on the pan in a single layer.

Just enough room left for a Trader Joe's vegetarian corn dog.
Which, by the way, are really starting to grow on me.

5.  Bake for about twenty minutes, turning halfway through. Prepare honey mustard sauce (see below) or whatever dip you enjoy. Barbecue sauce is also pretty good.

Flip the fries (and the corn dog) after about 10
minutes.

6.  When they start to brown a bit, or reach whatever texture you are going for, remove from the oven and serve!

Fries after baking.

Honey Mustard


The honey bear makes everything better.

Ingredients

1 tsp honey
2 tsp Dijon mustard (or to taste)

Steps

This is pretty self-explanatory: mix it together. Taste and add more honey or mustard as needed. Thin it out with a little vegetable oil, if desired.

Homemade honey mustard. Also good on chicken and pork.

Put it all together, and call it dinner!

Mmmmmmmm...

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