Thursday, January 10, 2013

Teriyaki oven fried sweet potato wedges

                                              
When I first saw a sweet potato in the United States, I was bewildered. Actually, a bit cautious to be honest. All my life growing up in Kenya, I thought all sweet potatoes looked like the light-yellow and white ones that my grandmother used to grow. So there I was years later at a country-style restaurant when with my order came this huge (it looked huge to me at the time) baked sweet potato whose inside was a bright orange. ORANGE!! My wide-eyed expression quite tickled my Kenyan room-mate who had been in the US longer than I had. He explained to me that the vibrant looking potato on my plate was the American version of the sweet potato and that it was quite tasty. When I got over the shock of how brightly colored this tuber was, I proceeded to taste it with caution. I was pleasantly surprised as my doubt was quickly replaced with love at first bite :-). I got over the bright color, but I am still amazed at the size even all these years later.

So yesterday I wanted to make use of the Green Giant bag of sweet potatoes that I had sitting in my pantry. I had had enough sweet potato casserole during the holidays and had no desire to make some more. Then I decided that sweet potato fried to go with my oven-fried crispy chicken drumsticks would be a better option. I wanted them to be different than any other sweet potato fried I had tried before. I took a big gulp from my cold bottle of Smart Water and it came to me. I immediately got to work and came up with these fries. These are sweet and tangy at the same time. And let's not forget the health benefits of a sweet potato. It's a win-win situation my friends. I dare you to stop at one. HA!

SERVING SIZE: Serves 4

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT:
-Medium mixing bowl.
-Baking sheet covered in aluminum foil.
-Clean kitchen towel.
-Cutting board.
-Knife.

INGREDIENTS:
-6-8 medium sweet potatoes (I used one pack of Green Giant sweet potatoes I got from the grocery store).
-1 teaspoon teriyaki sauce.
-2 tablespoons of light brown sugar.
-Zest of 1 orange (be careful not to zest to the white part of the orange, or your fries will be bitter).
-2 tablespoons cooking oil (I used Canola).
-1 teaspoon cinnamon powder.
-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin.
-Pinch of cardamom powder (about 1/4 teaspoon).
-1/4 teaspoon ground ginger.
-1/2 teaspoon salt (I use Kosher).

INSTRUCTIONS:
-In your mixing bowl, add the cooking oil, teriyaki sauce, orange zest, sugar,cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, ginger and salt. Use a whisk to combine the ingredients well. Set aside.

                                                     
-Wash your potatoes well as the fries will be cooked with the skin on. If possible, use a vegetable brush.
-Place the washed potatoes on a clean kitchen cloth and rub them thoroughly to dry.
-Using your knife and cutting board, cut the potatoes into wedges about the size of the ones shown in the picture below.


                                                       
-Now transfer the potato wedges to the bowl with the teriyaki/spice mixture and use your hands or a wooden spoon to toss the potatoes in the mixture. Make sure the mixture properly coats all the potato wedges.
-Let the potatoes rest in the bowl for 10-15 mins to absorb the flavors.

                                                       

***AT THIS POINT, PRE-HEAT YOUR OVEN TO 375 DEGREES F. ***

-Now spread the potato wedges on the foil-lined baking sheet and bake on the middle rack of your oven for 30-35 mins. 
-To check if they're ready, a fork inserted into one of the wedges should go in and  out easily.
-Your teriyaki sweet potato wedges are now ready to serve. These are best served hot. Oh, you're welcome :-) !!