I’ve been craving bad things. Things I gave up years ago and promised myself I wouldn’t eat again. Things that always leave me full of regret and craving nutrient-rich food. I’m hoping this is a short phase of pregnancy. Because Pizza Hut pan pizzas and massive amounts of ice cream must end. Though moderate amounts of ice cream are welcome. Very welcome. That’s one thing I’ll never give up.
But then there are those times I crave things like Sweet Potato Fries and trick myself into indulging without really indulging. Tricks like these are hard to come by. But oh so necessary.
I’ve been making a rendition of these for awhile now—inspired by a William Sonoma recipe mixed with the flavors of my favorite sweet potato fries from a Chicago restaurant. But up until recently my homemade “fries” have been limp and lack-luster. Un-postable. That is until I came across Cookie and Kate’s tip. Cornstarch. Cornstarch?!! It’s the missing link that helps absorb extra moisture and crispen up the exterior. Can you hear the angels singing?
Cumin, cilantro, parmesan, sea salt, and ketchup. A somewhat unlikely combination. But these days, it’s the only way I’ll take my sweet potato fries. I even prefer it over “real” fries that leave me full (of regret). Side note, these are not a weird pregnancy craving that no one in their right mind would eat. Promise. My husband to attest. He looked at the batch I made last night and asked, “Is this all you made?” He loves them too.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut sweet potato into quarters, first cutting it in half. Then, placing the flat side on the cutting board, cut down. With each quarter standing up and cut in half again. Place down on the cutting board and cut into fries (pictured below). Place on an unlined baking sheet.
- Sprinkle with cornstarch, cumin, and sea salt. Mix together with hands until evenly coated. Arrange fries so that they are in an even layer, not stacked. Drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake for 30-50 minutes, carefully flipping fries every 10 minutes.
- Once fries begin to brown and crisp, remove from oven.
- Garnish with parmesan, cilantro (fresh or dried), and more sea salt, to taste.
- Serve warm with a squirt of organic ketchup (optional).
• Recipe easily doubles or triples. Increase pan size and baking time.
• Skip lining your baking sheet. Parchment paper seems to trap a lot of moisture. They brown very nicely against the hot metal pan.
• Cooking time seems to vary greatly depending on the size and freshness of the potato. Flip every 10 minutes. If cooking over 40 minutes, flip every 5.
How to cut a sweet potato for fries: