No matter how busy I am, I always ALWAYS have sweet potatoes in some form in my refrigerator ready to eat at any meal. These come in various forms depending how I feel, Sometimes little cubes like a hash, sometimes big thick steak fry style, sometimes skinny little shoestring fries, sometimes if I’m feeling up to it, I will even make some sweet potato mash. But regardless of it’s form, sweet potatoes are usually my first step in meal prepping because if something happens (I am quite literally ALWAYS assuming some catastrophic event is going to interrupt whatever I am doing), I will at least have my sweet potatoes done. I’ve always done them the same way, but I was browsing around the interweb the other day, and saw a couple tricks I wanted to try out to see if they had any merit. These may be common knowledge to some, but it wasn’t for me, my mind was blown that I could have been making EXTRA crispy fries this whole time and had not yet been told of these tricks!
TRICK #1 – SOAK YOUR FRIES
Once you have cut the fries, place them in a bowl of ice cold water so the potatoes are covered, and leave them there for an hour. Now, some say hot water, some say cold…so I tried the cold this time around. By soaking them, some of the starches are pulled out into the water. This starch can hinder moisture escaping from the potato, so when it’s baking, it may leave the moisture in the fry…which recuses the crisp-factor. Once you have soaked them, make sure to rinse, and pat dry before cooking.
TRICK #2 – PARCHMENT PAPER
Okay, so perhaps this one was a no-brainer. I have always just put them directly on the sheet pan, but nope…the parchment paper crisps these babies up niiiice.
TRICK #2 – LEAVE ‘EM IN THE OVEN
When the timer goes off…turn off the oven, and leave them in there for another 5-10 minutes. Again…perhaps this is common knowledge, but I somehow missed this memo. So now I know.
TRICK #3 – SALT AFTER BAKING
I have gotten into the habit of salting things prior to cooking them. Which for some things works! But apparently salting those potatoes before baking them reduces the crispiness of the potatoes…so I gave it a shot!
Now…I don’t know which of any of these were most effective since I did them all on the same batch – perhaps I could have taken a more scientific approach by doing small batches with one trick per batch…but I just went all in, and the results were delicious. Crispy, delicious, and absolutely perfect (well, as perfect as fries can be without that sweet sweet delicious deep fryer from heaven action). Some of you are probably shaking your head at my naiveté in the world of cooking – how could I POSSIBLY not know these tricks. But lemme tell ya somethin’…and I’m not ashamed to admit it…I know very little about a lot of things, and tricks in the kitchen is most definitely on that list.
Below is the “recipe” for the sweet potato fries…not so much a recipe as directions, but here it goes!
2 Small-medium sweet potatoes, sliced into whatever size fry you want (I went on the thinner side)
2-3T arrowroot powder (or 1-2t. corn starch)
Cayenne, cinnamon, thyme, rosemary, turmeric, garlic powder, or any other SALT-FREE seasoning that you like (we’re adding salt at the very end)
Fine sea salt
- Cut the potatoes to your desired shape/size, and place in a mixing bowl with ice cold water. Let sit for about an hour. Once finished, drain water, rinse potatoes, and pat them completely dry.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Once dried, toss the sweet potatoes in either arrowroot powder or corn starch, then sprinkle in the seasonings of your choice.
- Place the potatoes on the parchment lined baking sheet, allowing them to have their space – no piles of potatoes here…they will crisp up better if they aren’t touching each other. Drizzle potatoes with olive oil.
- Bake the sweet potatoes for about 25 minutes, flip them, and then add another 15-20 minutes. By this time, they should have some browning on them, but if they are not baked to your liking, simply add a little more time!
- Once timer goes off, turn off the oven, and leave them in there for another 5-7 minutes or so.
- Take them out of the oven, and sprinkle a little salt over them. If they do not feel crispy right away…sometimes letting them sit for a minute or so out of the oven will help with that. When they are piping hot, they usually won’t feel too crisp. So just exercise your patience, and don’t burn your mouth by eating them RIGHT out of the oven!
Obviously you can eat these hot, but since I make up about 5-6 potatoes worth at a time, I let them cool a bit then put them in the fridge for the week. I usually make 2 potatoes worth of fries, the rest I dice up because they tend to keep a little better, and store better – fries won’t stay cripsy forever in the refrigerator…they kind of turn into limp potato noodles, the little chopped cubes hold their shape a bit better over time.
I know, this was simple, and most of you probably already do EXACTLY this, but maybe you don’t, and maybe you just need some new kitchen tricks, maybe you just need to get some super basic meal prep ideas…whatever your reason is for being here, still reading this very long post…I appreciate it, and hope that you enjoy these potatoes as much as I do!