The secret is in the details when it comes to making perfect sweet-potato oven fries. The potatoes must be cut to a uniform thickness, or they will cook unevenly. The pan must not be too crowded, or the potatoes will steam and never brown. The pan must not be too empty, or the potatoes will burn. The touch of sugar in the recipe encourages browning and should not be omitted. The mix of spices is, however, just a suggestion and can be varied at will. The sweet-potato fries will not become as crisp as oven fries made with white potatoes, nor will they brown uniformly. But they are entirely delicious. The lemon aioli makes the perfect accompaniment.
- 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4” sticks
- 1/4 cup extra light olive oil or grape seed oil
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F, with the rack in the lower third of the oven. Generously oil a cookie sheet or shallow roasting pan.
Combine the oil, sugar and spices in a large bowl and mix well. Add the potatoes and toss to coat. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on the prepared pan.
Roast in the lower third of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, turning once or twice and shaking the pan for even coating, until the potatoes are well coloured. (The timing will depend on how closely spaced the potatoes are on the pan.)
Briefly drain the fries on paper towels to blot excess oil. Taste and sprinkle with coarse salt if desired. Serve hot, with Aioli Dip on the side, or ketchup.
LEMON AIOLI DIP
A dangerously delicious sauce, aioli is basically homemade mayonnaise with garlic added. In this case, both garlic and lemon are added to make the perfect accompaniment for sweet potato fries. Lemon Aioli is a great dip for a plate of any raw or roasted vegetables. It is also perfect dolloped on poached or grilled salmon – or any fish, for that matter.
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup light olive oil or grape seed oil
- Salt and pepper
Mince the garlic in a food processor. Add the mustard and lemon zest and juice and process to combine. Add the egg yolks and process until smooth.
With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil in a steady stream until a thick, creamy sauce forms. Season with salt and pepper. Keep refrigerated until you are ready to serve.
Kitchen Note: If you wish to avoid the raw eggs, start with 1 cup mayonnaise and season with the garlic, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper.