Fried Sweet Potato Fries

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I am ready for fall.

I know lots of people love summertime, but it’s really not my favorite.  Sure, summer is great when you are in high school and get a solid 3 months off to sleep in, goof off, and hit the beach.  Even though summer is sometimes a little less busy for me, I am slowly losing my ability to sleep in now that I’ve gotten older (saddest fact of my life right now), I still have to work, and the closest body of water is a real sketchy artificial lake outside our mall.

Summer is slowly losing its fun, and I am becoming a ball of sweat.  The heat here is getting real ridiculous.  Oh the heat! I cannot take this constant sweating.  Throughout the night I even wake up sweating a little bit.  I go to work, and I sweat.  I come home, quickly strip off my work clothes, change into shorts and a t-shirt, and sweat.  I make dinner and sweat.  And then I shower.  And then I go to bed, and get ready to sweat.  Basically, I sweat a lot this summer, and I am ready for it to stop.

So I am ready for fall.  Bring on the cool weather, sweaters & scarves, and most importantly the fall food.  Apples, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and cranberries come on down! So while I am outside doing a dance to the fall Gods to bring on cooler temperatures, you all can start taking advantage of fall produce with these fried sweet potato fries.

I know people often eat sweet potatoes as a healthy alternative to normal potatoes and thus prefer baking then rather than frying them, but let’s face it: baking is not the same as frying.  Nothing can rival the crispiness of something being deep fried- sweet potatoes included.  Sweet potatoes are a little tough to fry- they just don’t want to crisp up as much as other food.  I have eaten a lot of sub-par sweet potato fries, but I have found a good recipe for crispy sweet potato fries.

And if you want to bake, check out my method for baking sweet potato fries here.

I promise I eat more than deep fried foods even though my last three posts are all about the oil.

FRIED SWEET POTATO FRIES
Slightly Adapted from Jeff Mauro

INGREDIENTS

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup club soda
Oil, for frying

DIRECTIONS

Heat oil to 375°F. Cut sweet potatoes into 1/2-1/4 inch sticks.

In a small bowl, mix together kosher salt, sugar, smoked paprika, and garlic powder together.  In a large bowl whisk the cornstarch and club soda together.  Dip sweet potato pieces into cornstarch batter.  Let excess drip on and let sweet potatoes drain on a wire rack.

Working in batches, fry the sweet potatoes for 6-8 minutes. Stir constantly while frying, or the sweet potatoes will stick together. Drain on paper towel.  Season with salt mixture.  Eat while warm.

If needed, keep sweet potato fries warm in an oven preheated to 200°F.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Barbeque Sauce

So, apparently I like sweet potatoes now.

Or maybe I have really liked them all along and just didn’t know it?  My mom has never been a fan of sweet potatoes, so when we ate the once a year at Thanksgiving, I always steered clear of them since she made it clear they were not her favorite.  Then last Thanksgiving, I made a sweet potato souffle that is a borderline dessert.  And I loved it.  Not sure if I really loved the sweet potatoes or the streusel topping, I still wasn’t convinced.  Then at Half Thanksgiving I tried a few sweet potato fries and enjoyed them.  I was still convinced I was content with eating sweet potatoes only once or twice a year.

But then I couldn’t get sweet potatoes off my mind.  I began to crave the slightly sweet an fluffy taste.  So, I made sweet potato fries baked in the oven to get the final verdict on sweet potatoes, and I paired it with my new favorite barbeque sauce.  Pure success, and I now am a sweet potato eater. Time to look up some different sweet potato recipes…

BAKED SWEET POTATO FRIES WITH BARBEQUE SAUCE
From Cinnamon Freud
INGREDIENTS

For the Barbeque Sauce:
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Sweet Potato Fries:
2 sweet potatoes, peeled
1 1/2- 2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
Salt
DIRECTIONS
For the Barbeque Sauce:
Combine tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic power, cumin, paprika, vinegar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan.  Over medium heat, bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until it reaches desired thickness.  Add ground black pepper to taste.
For the Sweet Potato Fries:
Preheat the oven to 475°F.  Preheat a pizza stone in the oven

Slice sweet potato into 1/8-1/4 inch slices.  Put in large mixing bowl and cover with warm water.  Let stand for 45 minutes- 1 hour.  Drain sweet potatoes and pat dry.  In a large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, olive oil, brown sugar, and salt to taste.  Spread fries over a piece of parchment paper in a single layer.  Transfer parchment paper to preheated pizza stone.  Bake for 20-23 minutes.  Watch the fries carefully to ensure that they don’t burn, baking time will vary based on how thick the fries are cut.
Serve with barbeque sauce.  Serves 2-3.