Friday, February 22, 2013

Our Favorite Snack

Once fall rolls around, sweet potatoes become a staple in our house. Good ol' sweet potatoes. Good for your skin, high in vitamin c & potassium and easy to grow in your back yard, what's not to love? I've tried a few recipes here and there, but my all time favorite one is dicing them up and baking them to enjoy them as fries. After a few years of soggy fries, I finally found the trick to crispy ones: corn starch! They are easily our all-time favorite snack around here. I try to keep them on hand as often as possible and if I'm not serving them with dinner, we cook some up for dessert. Even though autumn is over, sweet potatoes are still in grocery stores and still in a pile on my kitchen counter, so I thought I'd share our very favorite snack recipe:

You'll need:

sweet potatoes (plan on about one or two small potatoes per person)
corn starch
olive oil
garlic salt

:: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel the potatoes and using a large knife, cut of the tips of the potato and dice them into fry-shaped pieces (try to keep them all around the same size for even baking).

:: In a mixing bowl, toss your slices around in some olive oil and a generous sprinkle of corn starch. I never measure the amount, but a generous sprinkle will do. This will create a paste on your fries. (Paste should be more on the oily-side)

::Pour the fries on a non-stick baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil, enough to give them something to "fry" in while baking. (Ignore the picture below and do not use parchment paper! If you don't have a non-stick baking sheet, use foil.) You want to make sure they're evenly spread out on the baking sheet so that they can get crispy. Season lightly with garlic salt.

::Bake the fries for about 15 minutes. Take them out and flip them all over. (Slide a spatula quickly under the fries, maybe four at a time, and flip them over.) At this point, I usually sprinkle on a little grated Parmesan cheese for extra flavor.

::Bake for another 15 minutes or until done. They'll lose their shine and look puffed up, almost golden brown.

Sorry there aren't really any pictures of the fries. I will pause and take pictures of just about anything, but you know as well as I do that cold fries are a real shame. As soon as these things are cool enough to eat, they're pretty much gone. They are so good! Be warned that once you try these, you will be disappointed with any other sweet potato dish.

In my opinion, these go best with delicious, homemade ranch, to which there is no comparison. But when you're consuming these as often as I am, you need to justify your ranch intake with something moderately nutritious. Enter: Greek yogurt. High in protein, probiotics and calcium, it is the perfect kitchen staple. It replaces sour cream and regular yogurt any day. Add a scoop of jam, you have a delicious breakfast treat. Mix in a little taco seasoning and drizzle on quesdilla, you have a delicious Mexican topping. We keep Greek yogurt on hand all the time. My favorite kind technically isn't "Greek yogurt", it's Trader's Joe's European style yogurt. Low in sugar & fat and very, very affordable. Does TJ's do anything wrong? (The answer to that is "yes", by the way, because they don't have gluten free gnocchi and the spicy thai green breans are no where to be found these days.) Moving on...

All I do to create this yummy, addictive dressing/dip is fill a tall mason jar about 3/4 of the way full of plain yogurt and shake in generous amounts of dill and parsley (use fresh instead of dried if you can!) and salt and pepper to taste. I give it a spin in a blender or food processor to break up the spices, but shaking it up in the jar works too. It will have much more flavor after sitting in the fridge overnight, so try to make it beforehand.This comes out pretty thin, which makes for a perfect salad dressing, but if you want to thicken it up a bit for dipping, make it with equal parts mayonnaise and yogurt (just watch for the after-taste of guilt...)



  1. Lovely post + pictures! I love your blog. I'm your newest follower :) Would you mind checking out our blog & following back via GFC and Bloglovin'? Looking forward to your next post! xx

  2. Oo.. bookmarking this for a salad dressing! love!

  3. i've been wondering how to make them not soggy! made them last night without knowing your secret trick, but i'll definitely give it a try next time. last week, we had sweet potato fries as an appetizer and then mashed potatoes with dinner... oh yes and then normal fries with happy hour. can you overdose on potatoes?

  4. Ha!! Corn starch! That's what I was missing too! We go through sweet potatoes like crazy over here. Love 'em! But my fries always turn out a little soggy. Thanks for the tip. Trying these out tonight :)

    1. You are going to love them! It makes such a difference.