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Perfect Sweet Potato Fries

Right so let me just say that what constitutes as perfectly cooked sweet potato fries or any potato fries for that matter entirely depends on each person individual preferences. Some prefer crisp and crunchy while others prefer soft and smushy. Personally I like both as long as they taste good. But put a gun to my head and make me choose then it’s without a doubt crispy for me.

Methods of cooking will determine the final outcome of flavour and texture. Deep fried in oil will always guarantee crispy delicious golden fries but that about all you will get. Plus the nutrional value becomes irrelevant as soon as anything is cooked in large amounts of boiling hot grease.

If you want to achieve really tasty and delicious fries that are also beneficiary to your health then I suggest roasting is the best way to go. By roasting the fries you can load up on loads of extra flavour.

Traditionally, roasting anything invloves cooking food in an oven using fat (usually in the form of oil) and dry heat to render and soften meat or vegetables. The combination of fat and heat reduces moisture and causes the natural sugars in the food to caramelize and turn dark giving it a really rich intense and sweet flavour. When roasting, food is almost left uncovered and the food is cooked from the outside in.

Baking on the other hand is similar to roasting in terms of the dry heat method. However, fat is not used on the food and are often cooked “dry” covered with foil in order to retain the moisture.

Baking with fat – think of cakes and pastries. Fat is added into the mixture along with other ingredients. This time the dry heat and fat react in a way that forces the mixture to rise rather than carmelize. Food is covered and cooked from the inside out.

Sweet Potato Fries

These are so simple and the method below will without any doubt will create perfect fries each time. Many people I have spoken with who have tried to make sweet potatoefries in the oven always have the same complaint – that the fries don’t go crispy enough and that they always end up being to soft and limp.

The reason that they go soft and limp is because of too much moisture retention due to lack of heat in the oven and the airflow between them is not enough either. Essentially the potatoes are stewing in there own juices getting soggy.

First things first – for crispy fries you need to cut then up small. By small I don’t mean shoe string. Cut them up so that one large potato isn’t just 5 big wedges. Cut the potato in half and then half again and then in half again until a finger in length and size.

Quantities

For every 250g of fries I use 10g of coconut oil. I find this ratio works really well.

Spices

Paprika, Tumeric, Cayenne, Sea Salt & Pepper and sometimes Cinnamon.

Herbs

Garlic, Thyme, Rosemary

Preheat the oven to 180°C

Put all of the veg and spices into z bowl or large tray. Melt the oil, pour over and give a good mix. Didn’t over fill the tray. Make sure there’s enough space for adequate air flow. Space them out, use two trays is necessary and rotate them in ghe oven from top to bottom every 30 mins or so.

Place in the oven and cook for 45-60 mins minimum. After that it’s a matter of personal preference.

Final word

With everything in the kitchen practice makes perfect. Learn from previous mistakes and then try again next time. Everything can be tailored and adjusted to suit the situation. Quality of food, the type of oven – gas or electric can have a huge impact when attempting a recipe. Recipes are only guidelines so try to figure out how you can do it better next time before giving up after the first time.

Shane