This afternoon, some sweet potatoes at the grocery store caught my eye and I remembered that I’d been meaning to make some sweet potato fries. My friend Matthew and I regularly play backgammon, so I decided to have these made when he arrived this week. The method for making the fries comes from this post on Instructables, while the aioli recipe was found on Epicurious.
I made the aioli first — and it’s not, technically, a proper aioli, since that uses raw egg yolk instead of mayonnaise. Because using raw egg is a little sketchier and a little less simple, I opted for the mayonnaise version.
For the aioli, you will need:
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ tsp chipotle pepper
- ½ tsp chives (finely chopped, or dried)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp lime or lemon juice
- Salt & pepper to taste
The aioli is really simple to make. Place the half cup of mayonnaise in a small cup or bowl.
Mince your garlic up as finely as you can. You could also use a food processor or garlic press to simplify this bit.
To your mayonnaise, add the garlic, chipotle, chives, lime (or lemon) juice, and a small dash of salt and pepper.
Stir to mix, and be thorough.
When I had mixed mine, I tasted it and found it a little spicy for my liking, so I diluted it with two more teaspoonfuls of mayonnaise. Adjust yours if necessary.
The aioli can be made well ahead of time, and transferred to a resealable container to be refrigerated.
All done? Set the aioli aside for now.
For the fries, you will need:
- 2–3 large sweet potatoes
- Olive oil
- Salt (preferably coarse) and black pepper
Pre-heat your own to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
You don’t need to wash the sweet potatoes. Give them a dry scrub with a brush if there’s anything you do need to remove, but they should be safe. If you do wash them, make sure they are nice and dry before you use them, or else the oil will not stick to them very well. You don’t need to peel them either, though you can if you like. I’d suggest leaving the peel on, since they will be more nutritious and look nicer.
Get a large, dependable knife and chop them up into fry-sized pieces. You don’t have to be super precise. Choose a size you think you’ll like. Some people like them thicker than others.
The sweet potatoes might each have one or two dry, pointy ends. Chop those off.
To toss the fries, place them in a bowl and drizzle them with a generous amount of olive oil (don’t drown them, though). Add plenty of freshly-cracked black pepper and coarse salt — kosher salt or coarse sea salt will both work nicely. Toss the potatoes with the oil and seasoning using your hands.
You’ll want the fries to be glossy from the oil, but not swimming in it. Add more if necessary.
Place the fries on a baking sheet and make sure they are separated and not overlapping. I added more salt and pepper at this point too.
Place the fries in the oven. After about 12 minutes, take them out and flip them using tongs or your fingers if you’re careful. Put them back in the over for about 10 more minutes.
Serve with a generous dollop of the aioli for dipping.
Goes well with backgammon.