So this has been a fun week – sarcasm intended – between it being both long and busy, it is safe to say that I’m glad it is the weekend! It is also the start of Fall, meaning the holidays are creeping ever closer and a trip to Thailand is in my future. I need to get my life together and start planning for it! If anyone knows of some good Pinterest boards or articles on traveling to Thailand, please let me know. I could greatly use it. 🙂
Since this was a busy week, I didn’t have much time to invest in dinner so I needed a recipe that would be quick, easy, and somewhat healthy. Enter Ina Garten’s Baked Sweet Potato Fries. Who doesn’t love fries? Potatoes are always delicious no matter how they are cooked. Carby, starchy goodness just waiting to be mashed, baked, fried, you name it. This recipe utilizes sweet potatoes which I’m sure everyone has seen or had before.
The orange-toned flesh cousin of the common baking potato. It definitely has more flavor on its own than the regular baking potato which makes it perfect for light seasoning.
These aren’t your regular french fries. The common fry is peeled, sliced thin, and fried…twice. Once to cook it and the second to crisp it. Consequently they absorb quite a bit of the fat from which they are fried. That’s one reason they have come to be a no-no for diets everywhere (that and the simple carbohydrates they contain and the tons of salt typically poured on them). In order to minimize the fat absorption – these are sliced thicker and coated with a little bit of olive oil. These don’t get as crispy as regular fries but the brown sugar does caramelize and help out a bit.
One important item to remember before starting this – please make sure your oven is clean! You’ll be turning up the oven to a rather high temperature of 450 degrees. Even though I did manage to clean out the oven before starting, I still managed to set off the fire alarm for a few seconds in the apartment. I cranked the temperature down for a brief moment then turned it back up after it stopped. 😀 Even if we had to evacuate – it would have been worth it. Fries are worth it. Don’t let that deter you from making these though. Another option is to only turn the oven to 400 degrees and bake them for about 5-7 minutes longer or until they are crisp.
I paired these with some simple grilled chicken and a kale salad to complete the meal. Also, that is sriracha mayo I’ve got to dip it in. It’s just some mayonnaise with sriracha and garlic powder. The ratio of mayonnaise to sriracha I use is about 1 Tablespoon of mayo to 1/2 teaspoon of sriracha. I recommend starting maybe with 1/4 teaspoon and working your way up. Then I sprinkle in a little bit of garlic powder and done. The spiciness of the sriracha goes well with the sweetness of the fries and the brown sugar.
Of course I needed some Winc wine to go with it so I went with a favorite of mine. Pinot Noir is a varietal of grape that usually is originally from France but is widely grown in California.
This particular brand is called Local Flavor, and for every sale of the Local Flavor brand of wine, Winc donates a portion of the funds to help promote the arts in schools in California. It’s a great cause and the wine is delicious. To me, most Pinot Noir is an easy-drinking red wine. It’s not too tannic and has a lot of fruit flavors with some oak flavors as well. The flavors I picked up are cherry, licorice, vanilla, and cinnamon right off the bat. You really don’t need to aerate this wine at all and it will go well with literally any dinner option you can think of. Or you could simply pair it with some popcorn and a movie for one of those nights when you just can’t even.