Crispy Oven-Fried Sweet Potatoes (new and improved)

12 Nov

If I couldn’t oven-fry sweet potatoes, I probably wouldn’t eat them at all. I find them too sweet, too mushy, too cloying and too dense to fall in love with when they are roasted or baked or steamed or boiled. Argue with me all you want (better yet, send recipes!) but that’s really how I felt about them, until oven fries changed my whole perspective.

Let’s face it, fried foods taste good, no matter what. I mean, how could clams EVER be a kid’s menu item if they weren’t breaded and fried? Leandro won’t even look at them raw, but coat them in crumbs and plunge them in a deep fryer and watch them disappear! Don’t even get me started with French fries…crispy outside, creamy inside, the perfect vehicle for ketchup…Lord have mercy. Fried foods, if not fundamentally good, are fundamentally delicious.

And so it is with me and sweet potatoes, slice them into mini-two-by-fours and fry them up and I am singing their praises while wiping my mouth with my sleeve.

But the other facts to face are A) I am terrible at frying things and B) in today’s health-speak, fried foods are the devil’s spawn and hardly worth the guilty pleasure (especially if Point A holds true…).

So, if at first you don’t succeed, fry fry in the oven….

Thus this delicious recipe, adapted from a Cook’s Country recipe for perfect oven-baked potato fries…the secret, my friends, is in the microwaving  and blotting of the potatoes before baking…get out some moisture and let it affect the starch and you’ve got yourself a crisp-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside stick of salty, sweet deliciousness that is hard to stop eating.

You can also try my previous recipe for oven-fried sweet potatoes – more seasoning and less prep — I myself will be combining the two soon…see what you come up with!

Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries

4-5 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and sliced into ½-inch thick fries

5 Tbs vegetable oil

1 Tbs cornstarch

1 tsp salt

Heat oven to 450⁰F. Get ready to MICROWAVE potatoes (yes, microwave – it gets the moisture out and allows starch granules to absorb moisture and therefore get fluffy). Place potatoes in a bowl, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and microwave until the edges become translucent (3-5 minutes), shaking halfway through. Cool potatoes on a cooling rack and blot with paper towels – you really want them as dry as possible.

Place 4 Tbs oil in a rimmed baking sheet and warm it in the oven until just rippling/smoking (5-7 minutes). Whisk remaining tablespoon of oil in a bowl with cornstarch and salt. Add potatoes and coat thoroughly.

Arrange potatoes in a single layer on the hot baking sheet and bake until well-browned and crisp (25-35 minutes) flipping potatoes halfway through cooking. Transfer to a paper towel-covered plate and blot oil with more paper towels and serve.

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23 Responses to “Crispy Oven-Fried Sweet Potatoes (new and improved)”

  1. Making Fit Happen March 29, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    I’ve tried every which way to get crispy oven sweet potatoes. I love them, regardless of how they’re prepped, but crispy has been elusive. I’m gonna give this a try.

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy March 29, 2012 at 9:00 am #

      Hi! Make sure you really coat them with corn starch and only do a single layer…Good luck and let me know how it goes!

    • Cindy April 13, 2015 at 8:40 pm #

      It’s important to move your oven rack to the lowest position. Make sure your oven is preheated for at least 20 minutes and is very hot.

      The bottom of the fries with get crispy first – turn them once after 20 minutes, they will get crispy. (I use two forks to flip them over). I use this method with both sweet potatoes and russets — microwaving first then tossing with the oil, spices and cornstarch and they come out very crispy.

  2. mercadeo internet November 14, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    I made these a few weeks ago using a similar recipe. I LOVE sweet potatoes. They have been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl. However, I NEVER use a microwave for my potatoes. I have tried potatoes in the past that were cooked in the microwave and some that were just precooked and it changes the flavor for me. It may not be that noticeable for most but I am one of those that can tell if something is fresh or frozen and oven baked or nuked just by taste.

  3. Karen November 14, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    The microwave tip is very interesting. I agree that oven frying is the way to go on some recipes. And certainly not as messy.

  4. Bluejellybeans November 14, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    ¡Hola Natalia!
    Muchas gracias por haber venido a mi blog y haberte subscrito. Pienso que hablas español… pero por si me equivoco sigo en Inglés 😉

    Your blog is fantastic. I’m glad to find another blog with recipes from our culture (I’m from Panama). Your Yuca en Escabeche looks delicious and the sweet potatoes too!

    Hasta pronto!

    • nataliadecuba November 16, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

      Gracias por hacerme la visita…tanto gusto. La yuca en escabeche is my all time Top Post…haré más con yuca dentro de poco…

  5. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide November 13, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    Simply perfect!

  6. Kate November 13, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    I do a Christmas version of chipped parsnips in butter, ginger and a dribble of fresh orange juice and honey. They are fried and caramelised all in one!

    • nataliadecuba November 13, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

      Sounds delicious…we are not parsnip-oriented over here; we are just starting to get into these wintry root vegetables and there are a lot of fun.

  7. Tom Baker November 13, 2011 at 6:17 am #

    I could use the yams I bought today to make the pies I am supposed to be making or I could make this for lunch. Me thinks lunch takes precedence today! I’ve been using Paula Deen’s recipe but I will try this with the use of a microwave. I can use my neighbors since I got rid of mine some time ago. Thanks.

    • nataliadecuba November 13, 2011 at 6:29 am #

      Hi Tom! Thanks for your visit…We are also virtually microwave-free…what made you decide to chuck yours?

      • Tom Baker November 13, 2011 at 9:50 am #

        I got rid of the microwave because I don’t think the nutrients are the same after being ‘nuked’ and I just don’t trust that they are as safe as people think. I don’t even like to boil water in the mic. Why are you virtually free of your microwave?

      • nataliadecuba November 13, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

        Much the same reasons…I use my parents’ microwave occasionally, but have found that reheating in my fab new toaster oven or on the stovetop is much better for texture. However the food science in this recipe really works, and in the larger scheme of things, I figure a bit of nuking is better than heaps of frying oil….And I drink a lot of tea; microwaved water tastes much flatter than barely-boiled!

  8. susannah marchese November 13, 2011 at 6:13 am #

    Love these! We make them all the time…

    • nataliadecuba November 13, 2011 at 6:30 am #

      Would love to know how you do yours…the microwave really made a significant crunchy-fluffy difference!

  9. charmfarmgal November 12, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    Those look delicious! And I just so happen to have a mess of sweet potatoes… 🙂

  10. ceciliag November 12, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    I just had these today.. they are so good! c

    • nataliadecuba November 13, 2011 at 6:47 am #

      What seasonings, if any, do you add?

      • Cindy April 13, 2015 at 8:42 pm #

        Today I made the sweet potato fries (vs russets) and used a good amount of cayenne and paprika. Also salt and garlic powder. They were great.

      • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy April 13, 2015 at 9:05 pm #

        Excellent!

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