When the very nutritious vegetable, the sweet potato, is cooked perfectly, it is tender yet still a little crisp with a wonderful sweet flavor. I have decided that it is actually a little tricky to cook sweet potatoes properly. But I think I found the prefect sweet potato fry in a restaurant in Breckenridge, Colorado, of all places. We recently visited this very upscale restaurant with a James Beard Chef winner on the staff. The sweet potatoes were cooked and served immaculately. I came home to try to duplicate their recipe.
The restaurant was named, “Relish.” It is a small restaurant with an elegant menu, great food presentation and a busy and attentive staff. The menu apparently takes advantage of local seasonal foods and we found some nice touches in the meals that we ordered. The backdrop of the beautiful Rocky Mountains and the cool, crisp air made the visit to this small tourist town a memorable occasion. The restaurant was just a few steps away from this scenic spot along the Blue River and the Orchestral Concert Hall.
Secret to Sweet Potato “Fries” or Wedges
The sweet potato fries at “Relish” Restaurant were perfectly sliced and prepared. They were crisp, yet tender. A person could pick them up with a fork without the fries falling apart. The waiter said that the secret to the fries is that the sweet potatoes were first boiled. Hum. I really didn’t ask for the entire recipe but I got the idea.
So the fries are not fried at all. They are boiled. Perhaps they are fried, too. That part will remain a secret. Here’s my recipe. My fries aren’t as perfectly sliced as the ones at the “Relish” Restaurant, but they taste just as great.
To make the sweet potato fries, you need a couple of small sweet potatoes (about 8 oz each) that are relatively slender and straight — no blemishes. Scrub them well. Leave the skins on. Use a sharp knife to slice them lengthwise into wedges.
Here’s the tricky part and the key to making great sweet potato “wedges” or “fries.” Boil the wedges. It only takes about three to five minutes, maximum, to boil them. I used a large skillet, filled it with water, added salt and brought to a boil. Then I added the sweet potato wedges, covered with a lid and returned to a boil. Although you might be tempted to keep cooking the sweet potatoes — don’t. They should be “al dente”, still slightly firm when pierced with a knife. Ah, perfect.
You could stop here, drain and serve the “fries.” But I felt obligated to make sort of a fry. So I spread the boiled wedges on a baking sheet and sprayed on Pam olive oil. I baked these at 450 degrees for five minutes.
The result is great. Crisp, fresh tasting and great flavor.
Sweet potatoes are a Louisiana food product and the peak season is in the fall. So get ready with some recipes. Plus sweet potatoes are are very nutritious. This is an easy and healthy way to prepare them. Enjoy!
Sweet Potato Fries
- 2 (8 oz) small sweet potatoes, without blemishes
- 1 tsp salt
- Pam Olive Oil Spray
Method and Steps:
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Scrub sweet potatoes, leave skin on. Using large sharp kitchen knife, cut in half lengthwise. Place cut side down and cut half and then in quarters.
- Fill a large skillet with water deep enough to cover potatoes. Bring to a boil.
- Add salt to water. Then add sweet potato wedges in a single layer. Cover with lid
- Return the water to a boil and boil sweet potatoes for three to five minutes. They should be al la dente.
- Carefully remove the sweet potatoes and drain.
- Layer the sweet potato wedges in a single layer on baking sheet. Spray with Pam Olive Oil.
- Bake in 450 degree oven for five minutes.
- Remove from oven and carefully transfer to serving plate.
And enjoy a visit to Breckenridge, Colorado, in the summer. A great place just to relax and “get away from all the fuss.”