Roasted Sweet Potato Fries
Ok, I get that everyone likely knows how to make roasted sweet potato fries. But what you might not know is that there is a great new cookbook out called, Sweet Potatoes: Roasted, Loaded, Fried and Made into Pie by Mary-Frances Heck. She dives deep into the sweet potato and gives thoughtful and expansive directions on how to extract as much flavor for from this powerhouse vegetable as possible. I was lucky enough to meet Mary-Frances a few months ago at a luncheon in Denver before Food & Wine magazine snapped her up and moved her to Birmingham, Alabama. She’s a gem and her writing is lively and entertaining.
Below is my recipe which is essentially her recipe for Sweet Potatoe Fries: The Easy Way. She has a recipe entitled, Sweet Potato Fries: The Hard Way, which probably does taste a lot better, but damn, seems very time-consuming. Maybe worth a try on some lazy Sunday afternoon this winter.
Obviously making roasted sweet potato fries is not heavy lifting, but what I wanted to share was how I sometimes leverage this great vegetable in the chillier months to get us through the work week. On Wednesdays at our local Whole Foods Market, organic rotisserie chicken is on sale for $10. See where this is going? So sometime that day we swing by the store, grab a chicken and some organic tofu (if you’re gonna eat tofu, please do make it organic). When I can’t get my sweet potatoes at the farmers’ market from Eric and Jill Skokan’s Black Cat Farm, I buy organic sweet potatoes in bulk from Costco. Usually midweek, I still have plenty of salad greens left from the farmers’ market, but if not I pick up a new head of lettuce, too. That’s Wednesday’s meal: Rotisserie Chicken, Sautéed Tofu, Sweet Potato Fries and a Salad.
Because we can never eat all that food, we transform Wednesday’s dinner into “Taco Thursday.” My husband shreds up the leftover chicken, I chop up the remaining tofu and dice up the leftover sweet potato fries. A bag of roasted green chile comes out of the freezer and if we’re lucky I usually have some cooked pinto or black beans hiding out somewhere in there, too and if not I nearly always have a can of refried beans on a cupboard shelf. Like beans, we always have corn tortillas on hand, and nearly always a knob of cheddar cheese, and if we’re extra lucky, an avocado or two. That’s the meal and a wrap for the work week. If we’re feeling super hungry, we’ll make a pot of Spanish rice to accompany. Although not glamorous, it’s always cheaper and certainly always healthier and more than likely, tastier, than picking up take-out. One more benefit — no one in my family ever complains when tacos are on the menu.