The hits just keep coming. As part of our “Food Frenzy” series this week, MNU’s Contributing Food Editor Christine Berardi shares a different approach on a familiar favorite…
Recently I was at the bus stop here in Hoboken and saw a young businessman waiting for the bus, eating a cold roasted sweet potato and was hit by a wave of nostalgia! When I was a little girl growing up in the south, I loved sweet potatoes. My mom would roast them whole in their skins until they were meltingly soft and creamy. Hot from the oven with a pat of butter tucked inside, they were sweet and satisfying, but even cold they next day, eaten out of hand like an apple, they were the perfect after school eat on the run snack.
When I got older, I realized that many people associate sweet potatoes or yams with the cloyingly sweet marshmallow studded dish served once a year for Thanksgiving dinner. I’m not usually one to criticize anyone’s traditional family recipes, but this dish does not bring out the best in sweet potatoes. Naturally sweet, with a spicy lemony fragrance, sweet potatoes don’t need a lot done to them to be delicious. I love to accent their flavor with just a touch of spice, and the sweet/savory contrast of smoked chipotle and cinnamon is perfect.
I like these spicy wedges as an amazingly healthy and easy to prepare alternative to french fries. Adding fat to sweet potatoes is important; it helps our bodies assimilate the abundant beta carotene in orange sweet potatoes. So be generous in drizzling that olive oil- it’s good for you!
Smoky Spiced Sweet Potato Wedges
2 medium sweet potatoes
chipotle chile powder or smoked paprika
Heat the oven to 325 degrees.
Peel each sweet potato and cut them in half and then into wedges roughly ¼ inch thick at the thickest edge. Toss them with a tablespoon of olive oil to start with. You want the whole surface of each wedge to be coated but not dripping with oil. Sprinkle with a couple of pinches of each of the spices and toss to evenly distribute the peppers and cinnamon.
In a single layer, spread the wedges on a baking sheet. Make sure they aren’t crowded or touching each other so that they will be able to crisp up. Sprinkle with salt and cook for 15 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven. The tops should be starting to puff slightly and the bottoms should be nice and golden and lightly crisp. Flip them over and cook for another 8-10 minutes to brown the other side.
Another simple but tasty flavor combination for these wedges : toss them in melted coconut oil and dust them with a little curry powder and salt.
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