Do you love ordering a side of sweet potato fries in a restaurant? Maybe you have tried making them at home. If you have you may have discovered that the healthy baked sweet potato fries do not come near their greasy diner counterpart. Good news! There is a better way to make baked sweet potato fries at home - right from the oven.
A few years ago I caught an episode of the Rachel Ray Show that changed my life! In the episode she demonstrated two tips for making oven fries that were so simple I couldn't believe I had never seen them before. I have never looked back.
The first tip she shared was to par-boil the potatoes before baking them. In other words, partially cook the raw fries in some salty boiling water. They cook for between 3 and 8 minutes depending on the thickness. After a few minutes in boiling water they should get a crisper outside in the oven.
The second tip was even more revolutionary. Arrange the par-boiled fries on wire racks over a sheet pan to bake. Totally genius!
This tip changed the way I make baked sweet potato fries. In the past, my oven fries often turned out crisp on one side and steamed on the other. Even turning them part way through the cooking process didn't seem to help. With the potatoes elevated from the pan, both sides can cook at the same time, creating a more even texture. They also need significantly less oil to become nicely crisp.
The Rachael Ray Show web site has a recipe called Double Baked Crazy-Crisp Oven Fries cooked on a rack; it may be from the segment I saw. Hers are twice seasoned. In my kitchen I keep things a little more simple.
When I make these fries, I drizzle them with a touch of cooking oil, then toss them in a seasoning blend like Montreal steak, or something with salt and pepper in the mix. Once they are coated and evenly spread on the rack, bake at 425F until they are toasty and golden. This method also works for potatoes or starchy root vegetables.
The crispness depends on how thick the potatoes are cut. I change it up depending on my mood. The fries pictured are thick steakhouse style which come out more tender than crunchy.