The game starts in about half an hour. We’re one game away from elimination, so it’s really gotta count from here on out. I mean, it should have been counting from the get go, but, you know, I am willing to start from here if it means good things are ahead.
For today’s game, my black and orange food will consist of these wonderfully crisp sweet potato fries. The last time I shared an oven fry recipe here, a very nice reader asked me if the same recipe and technique could be used to make sweet potato fries. It was a good question. I’d tried making sweet potato oven fries before, but the softer nature of a sweet potato just wasn’t conducive to creating a crisp, non-soggy fry. However, I had recently read about the magic of cornstarch being added to fried or oven-fried foods (cornstarch is often used in Asian cooking to achieve light and crisp results when frying things), so I thought I might apply the technique to making sweet potato oven fries.
To my utter delight, it absolutely worked. Just a light coating of cornstarch on the sticks of sweet potato ensured a crisp bite, and with just a minimal amount of oil added, the fries turned out perfectly french-fry-like without being at all greasy. I’ll definitely be holding onto this technique.
But, what of the black food to pair with this orange food? Today it’s going to be Panda licorice, and those of you who also happen to be San Francisco Giants fans will understand why this licorice is so perfectly fitting in more than one way.
Crispy Sweet Potato Oven Fries Recipe
1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into medium-thin strips
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
Place peeled and cut sweet potatoes in a large bowl, then cover with warm water. Swish the potatoes around in the water, then drain the bowl and fill it with cold water. Leave the sweet potatoes in the water to soak for at least 1 hour. After soaking, drain the potatoes and pat completely dry with paper towels or a dishtowel.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Adjust an oven rack to the lowest level.
In a large bowl, combine completely dried sweet potatoes with cornstarch. Using your hands, toss to thoroughly coat the potatoes. Pour vegetable oil onto a large, heavy baking sheet. Place cornstarch-coated potatoes on the oiled baking sheet, then toss potatoes in the oil to coat completely. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet.
Bake sweet potatoes for 15 minutes on the lowest rack of the oven. Remove baking sheet, carefully turn over each sweet potato fry, then return to the oven to bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until the fries are dark golden brown and crisp.
Remove from oven, place fries on a paper towel-lined plate to drain off any excess oil, then add salt and pepper to taste.
Makes 2 servings, or 1 large serving.