I learned how to appreciate sweet potato fries when I was a student in Chicago, for a few years ago. Then me and my friends would dine out a lot trying new restaurants all the time. After all it could be perceived as part of our studies as Hospitality Management students, or that was our excuse at least 😉
We loved going out for a burger and a beer and no place was better than Wild Bar & Restaurant which was just a cross from my apartment. There it was optional to get sweet potatoes with everything in stead of regular french fries, and of course I had to try, especially because me, the little girl form Iceland, had never tried sweet potatoes before. That´t was it. I was officially in love with this new discovered fries of mine. After that I never ordered anything other than sweet potato fires, if I could help it.
However, when I came back to Iceland 2 years later my lovely fries where nowhere to be found. I looked at all menus that I could get my hands on but it was all for nothing. No-one offered sweet potato fires in Iceland at that time.
Therefore, I started experimenting. I don´t have a deep frying pot at home so I tried to oven bake sweet potatoes to see if I could get the same result. I couldn’t´t match it exactly but below you will find my recipe for crispy sweet potatoes which are the closest thing that I have been able to produce without a proper deep frying pot. I quite like them and they are also healthier than the deep fried once. I hope you will like them too.
Sweet Potato Fries
1 Sweet potato
Olive Oil or Garlic Olive Oil
Preheat your oven at 200-220°C and use the fan. Start with rinsing the sweet potato. Then cut it down into 1/2 cm slices, leaving the skin on. When you have chopped all the potato down into slices start cutting the slices up into 1/2 cm thick pieces, or at least try to make them as even as possible.
Cover a baking tray with parchment paper (baking paper) and poor the sweet potatoes onto the tray. Drizzle the olive oil or garlic olive oil over the potatoes, just enough to cover the potatoes on all sides as you toss them around. Add the black pepper and other spices if you like.
I personally love garlic so I always have garlic olive oil in my fridge. I just crush fresh garlic and add it to olive oil along with a little oregano and black pepper and the outcome is a fresh garlic oil that I can keep in my fridge for weeks.
When all this is done just place your potatoes in the middle of the oven and leave them for about 15 minutes or until they are golden and puffy. Then take them out and quickly turn them over to get the same result on the other side as you bake them for another 15 minutes. Then turn them over once more and put the grill on. Now watch them carefully, tossing them occasionally. Just be careful not to leave them for to long under the grill, otherwise they will burn. It is fine though if they get a little brown at the ends because it just gives them a caramelized flavor which I really love. Finally Take them out when they are golden and crispy all around.