I’m a Fry-Master (Mistress?). No big deal.
If you haven’t noticed, I consume a metric ass-ton of sweet potato fries daily. They’re great to just throw on the side of whatever the hell we’re having for dinner, good after a good metcon, good with runny eggs for breakfast…even good cold (although Ross seems to disagree with me there…).
This shouldn’t come as a surprise because every friggin’ Paleo and/or Crossfit blog features sweet potato fries. They’re not hard. They’re not new. They’re beautiful in their simplicity and really hard to f*ck up. (Which is why I got creative and made Sweet Potato Tots to mix things up. No big deal).
OK, so why the hell would I made such an outrageous claim that my Sweet Potato Fries are better than, say, everybody else’s? Because found a way to make them even better…you know how baking sweet potatoes and yams never quite makes them like good ol’ fashioned French fries? Like how they tend to be a little flimsy against the elements (i.e. the massive amounts of Paleo mayo and EVOO i dump on mine)? How baking them longer just makes them dry? Well, my friends, I found a way to make them JUST a little more crispy on the outside without sacrificing the sweet, sweet, gooey insides that make my eyes roll back in my head.
I all fairness, I have Martha Stewart to thank for some of this. It was there that I first heard of blanching sweet potatoes to make them crisp up better, so I was like, “That sounds great!” and got right to work. Disclaimer: This is a lot more time and energy than normal sweet potato fries…but so, so worth it.
2 Large Yams or Sweet Potatoes
Olive or Coconut Oil
(I need to break this down, not to insult your intelligence, but because achieving crispity-crunchity texture and a moist inside is the result of a few un-related steps)
Step 1. Cut your fries thin. Not matchstick-fry thin, but less than 1/2″ wide on each side. This matters. If they’re too big they might cook unevenly.
Step 2. Soak your raw fries in ice water for 30-45 minutes. The ice water has to be COLD, so I’d even put the bowl of iced fries back in the fridge or freezer. When you’re done chilling your taters, drain them and pat them dry with paper towels. Do NOT try and bake wet potatoes.
Step 3. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. This does NOT mean aluminum foil. This does NOT mean wax paper. Parchment paper. It matters.
Step 4. You MUST coat your fries with oil, but don’t soak them, either. Lately I’ve been laying them out on the baking sheet and spraying them down with the Misto until they’re nice and shiny all over. This probably goes without saying for most Paleo geeks but believe it or not, there are still some weirdos out there who insist that because oil is pure fat then it’s bad. It’s not. It’s your bagel that’s making you fat. Get over it.
Step 5. Arrange your fries on the baking sheet with lots of space between them, at least 3/4″ between fries. This matters. When fries are baked too close together, they steam and keep each other nice and soggy.
Step 6. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes. Flip them at least every 10 minutes, but the more often the better so they brown and crisp up micely on all sides.
Step 7. If you’re still awake by the end of this whole ordeal or at least haven’t given up on me and damned me to hell for making you spend over an hour preparing Sweet Potato Fries, now is the time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Smother with mayo (or ketchup) and enjoy!