I might be jumping the gun, but if the world is kind and Jack is lucky there may be fresh sweet potatoes this year. I can see myself at least attempting to grow a few, I’m more of a prognosticator than a procrastinator. I make reasonable and realistic plans and follow through as best I can. I’m overcoming a lack of confidence with sheer stubbornness. If there are immature sweet potato plants I will buy them, plant them and nurture then, praising their growth and lamenting their failures. Today though we talk fries. Funny how yesterday I spoke of the ubiquitous peanut butter cookie and my version. Now we’ve hit a recipe I return to occasionally, one which never succeed until I did it my way. No, dear reader, that wasn’t a cue to break into song, melodious as you are. I tried a recipe recently, fries of this size, oven at his yadda yadda. I ended up with limp, mushy, cold fries. I’ve been there before. So instead of giving up I looked at my other Sweet Potato Recipe, crisp strands. Could I use it to my advantage? Well, yes, it’d be silly if I was typing all this to dash your hopes. Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack isn’t a callous…er, moving on.
So, for some reason results are mixed. The writer blames the reader’s ineptitude, I never blame you for being inept, I just forgive you. The reader in turn blames the writer, the fathead knows nothing of fries. And so on. So, I know that thin is crisp, oily is soggy and high heat means burnt fries. So, I cut them into matchsticks. I did worry they’d be just crisp and not the lovely balance of crispy exterior and fluffy interior, they were. I used extra virgin olive oil as I find it evaporates fairly quickly, which let the fries just steam their moisture away. I kept the temperature lower than the other recipe. So, they baked and I watched. In he end what came out was what was wanted. Crisp enough, warm, not cold, able to stay stiff. A few slightly limp fries don’t matter much. But instead of a snack, they felt like something that could be used as a side in a meal and not feel out of place. No, they’re not potato fries as you know or knew them, but they do taste nice and have a different texture from the norm. I can’t say this is foolproof, I’ve tried enough recipes with sweet potatoes to know that there can never be such a thing. But I think it’s close. Whether it’s the sweet potatoes themselves that cause the trouble is up to better than I to say.
If you’re a bit crafty you can bake other vegetables too.
As far as the future of nightshade free fries, or chips if you’d rather, well, we might have to look back. To say, Faux Roast Potatoes. Imagine, think strips of harlequin squash, roasted, perhaps steamed slightly first, just for that extra crunch. I know I’ll be growing them again this year and weather being kind I should have a decent crop which will in turn translate to more recipes for you all. Spread the word about harlequin squash, it’s the single greatest potato substitute. I don’t say that lightly, they’re just that good. Don’t mistake a festival squash for them though! They lie. Harlequin is always light green with stripes. I really can’t wait to eat some harlequin sautéed, freshly made basil pesto, broccoli right out of the garden and on and on. Who knows, the garden can be fickle, but thankfully I’m stubborn and now armed with much more than last year. The greenhouse awaits, touching the cloudy skies with it’s peak, the compost rests, filled with nutrients, the soil amended and waiting. This is going to fun, stick with me, dear reader, we’ll go far.
2 Medium Sweet Potato
Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder to Taste
1. Pre-heat the oven to 175c (Fan) and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
2. Peel the Sweet Potato and slice them lengthways, each slice should be about about half a centimetre thick, then cut them into half centimetre strips. Add to a plastic bag, season to taste then drizzle in the Olive Oil. Shake everything until the sweet potatoes are coated.
3. Spread out over the prepared tray. Making sure there’s plenty of room between the fries. If making a large batch use two trays. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. until the Sweet Potato is dry and crisp. Remove from oven and transfer to a plate and let cool for a minute or two. Sweet Potato will crisp up more as it cools.