Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries, New Toys, and No Tomatoes

This morning a friend of mine, who I will be very generous and just say is known for having a "colorful" sense of humor, informed me that he was bringing my belated birthday gift to me.  I will confess, I was more than a little concerned.  The possibilities of what this could be were pretty much endless and ranged, in my mind at least, from the slightly profane to the totally obscene.  However, what he brought me was a 1950's Cookie Cookbook written by his mother with a personal inscription to me.  I promptly sat there and looked at all the pictures and then flipped back through to read through all I could.  What a terrific gift.


I love fries.  Fries don't love me like they used to.  Or maybe they do and that's why when I eat them they promptly take up residence on my thighs.  However, these are a great, low-cal/low-fat alternative that is maybe better than the real thing.

Maybe I should have called these sweet potato chunks.  Slices.  Wafers?  Nah, fries.
What you need for two big helpings:

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
EVOO or cooking spray
*some* of the following: salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne and anything else that strikes your fancy, there, Fancy.

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 350.

Peel and slice the sweet potatoes into relatively uniform slices.  This makes sure that they are all done at about the same time as opposed to having one that is an inch thick that is raw and one 1/8 of an inch thick that is charred.  If you have a mandoline slicer, especially one with a crinkle cut blade, that would be the easiest way.  However, if you are like me and have a new set of knives that you got for FREE and want to play with them, you will bypass the mandoline and use those.  Yes, all of them.  On two potatoes.

Spread the potatoes out in a single layer on a large baking sheet or cookie sheet.  Either brush on a little extra virgin olive oil or spray them with cooking spray.  Yes, yes, yes, I know.  It sounds gross.  It's not.  It's good and saves you a crapload of lunges.  Then sprinkle on the spices in whatever proportion you prefer.  I like to use a lot of fresh cracked pepper.  Plus, some of it falls off during the process.

Because my psychic abilities are not intact, I cannot predict how thickly you will have sliced them.  Start with baking them for 8 minutes.  Flip them all over, give another spray, and sprinkle on some more spices.  Bake for an additional 5 or so minutes and then pull one out.  It should be forkable.  ((Forkable is Julia Lingo for you should be able to stab it with a fork easily.))  I actually like mine a little firmer ((quiet)) so I don't bake them as long.  If yours aren't forkable yet, put them back in for another 3-4 minutes and then check them again.

Spicy Sweet Taters
Nutritional Info:  You got this.  If you consider one large potato a serving and you use the cooking spray, it is only about 150 calories and 1 gram of fat.  Using EVOO would add about an additional 120 calories if you use a tablespoon.


Want to see my new toys?  I thought so.

By Tuda Libby Crews
Don't break into my house.  I'll cut you.  

Lots of big, big, exciting things going on that I can't quite talk about yet.  I know.  I hate when people do that.  Trust me, y'all will be the 300th or so to know.

Tomorrow, I'm planning a menu and shopping for a dinner for 50 on Saturday.  50 teenagers.  Italian food.  No tomatoes.  It is going to be a dairy-filled, cream-sauced party.  With absolutely no tomatoes.

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