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Around my holiday break I wanted to try making something with potatoes. Something crunchy, and yet not too fattening (as least fattening as potatoes can be), so I thought about sweet potato fries. Sweet potatoes are regarded as the healthier option but the difference is actually not too large as you might have heard. I read about the difficulties people have with making sweet potato fries crispy since they have a higher water content, so they tend to sag a bit unless you try deep frying it. Me, trying to avoid any heavy oils, and particularly deep frying anything, I wanted to grill/oven bake them. They certainly are very difficult to crisp up but other than that, they turned out decent enough for a side dish.

I found this recipe from the Food Network by Paula Deen. The original recipe as noted by the comments appears to be way over salted, luckily having read the comments I stuck by that and divided it by 4.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries (Food Network)

Ingredients
Olive Oil, for tossing
5 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch long slices, then 1/4-wide inch strips, using a crinkle cut knife
1 tablespoon House Seasoning (recipe follows)
1/2 teaspoon paprika

House Seasoning:
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Method
1. Preheat oven to 230 degrees C. Line a sheet tray with parchment. In a large bowl toss sweet potatoes with just enough oil to coat.

2. Mix house seasoning ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

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3. Sprinkle potatoes with House Seasoning and paprika.

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4. Spread sweet potatoes in single layer on prepared baking sheet, being sure not to overcrowd.

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5. Bake until sweet potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

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Impressions

Baking sweet potato fries requires a lot more time than I imagined, simply because you need to keep flipping these around so that the entire chip crisps up. Otherwise you’d find that only one side is “crispy” (aka just slightly firmer in my case) and the bottom side is like a baked potato. Then, you have to consider the air temperature when turning the fries around as you would lose a lot of heat. So bear that in mind.

As you may see, the fries were a bit on the floppy side but nonetheless the flavour of the fries was decent. I think I may have added too much black pepper to my seasoning. Probably I would have added let’s say 1/5 cup or about there instead, and maybe sprinkled a bit more paprika and used a tad of chicken salt to replace the regular salt I used.

Keep in mind too, that only a very small amount of oil is needed for the seasoning to stick as then you may end up with wet potatoes that won’t evaporate in time. I enjoyed the process though don’t get me wrong, but I’m still searching for that perfect recipe.

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