Germans have the potato thing down. Potato salad, potatoes au gratin, boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, baked potatoes, potato pancakes, fried potatoes, French! fried potatoes, etc.
But one thing they either don’t know about or choose to obviously ignore (or snub?) is the SWEET potato.
It’s a shame really. Not that there’s anything wrong with potatoes, but why discriminate? Sweet potatoes have so much going for them.
Luckily, I have found a store that regularly carries sweet potatoes, but they are always imported – often, ironically from the US – with a hefty price tag to boot.
But whatever. Sometimes you just fork over the euros, go home, and make yourself some sweet potato fries because Alexia just isn’t available.
These are as crunchy as oven-fried sweet potato fries get. They’re also ridiculously delicious and a smidge sassy. The way I see it, that’s how fries should be.
Below is my own recipe for homemade sweet potato fries. Hold onto your hats though fellas and ladies, I must warn you that it’s not at all exact. I may be OCD in some things, but I have issues following directions or sticking to precise quantities in recipes (for better or for worse).
Sweet Potato Fries
1 large sweet potato
a few tablespoons of olive oil
a few tablespoons of corn meal
a dash or two of seasoned salt, garlic powder, and onion powder
a pinch or two of Cajun seasoning (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425F (or 220C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Or don’t, if you happen to be one of those crazy people who love washing dishes.
Wash your sweet potato thoroughly – you will be eating the skin! Don’t get all skittish on me – it’s full of nutrients, and you won’t taste it through the spicy smoke screen.
Cut the sweet potato into sticks (carefully!) resembling french fries. The skinnier you make the sweet potato fries, the faster they cook and the crispier they get. Don’t make them matchstick size though – you’ll end up with a baking sheet of burnt twigs if you’re not careful.
Put the sweet potato fries in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the cornmeal, seasoned salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. If you like a little heat with your fries, sprinkle in the Cajun seasoning. (No, you totally cannot buy that in Germany.)
Toss to coat. For the aforementioned lazy folks, use the same spatula to stir the sweet potato sticks with the seasonings that you will to flip the fries later. Make sure all sticks have a decent coating, adding a bit more oil if necessary.
Spread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Flip/stir/shake at 10 minutes, 20 minutes, and 25 minutes, always making sure to rearrange fries again in a single layer.
If you feel so inclined, add a tray of chicken nuggets to the oven after your first flip. Oh and make a salad while you’re waiting to indulge. Extra healthy is the way to go, right? After all, that’s why you’re eating sweet potato fries and not just any ol’ run-of-the-mill French fries.
When sufficiently crispy, remove from oven, cool slightly, and serve with ketchup. YUM!