Wednesday, October 22

Yam Fries: Not as suave, but just as tasty

I splurged on a garden burger for my study snack yesterday (instead of my usual cafe-fare Italian soda), and made the healthy choice of salad over fries. Naturally I regretted this as soon as the young woman two tables down from me received her Rueben with fries (and ample ketchup -- I'm a sucker for ketchup).

As I wandered home that evening, my brain quickly turned from reviewing the functions of the Large Intestine Meridian to recalling a conversation at work (the bar, not the spa) about where to get the best sweet potato fries in San Francisco. Since my brain cells are occupied with Chinese characters and Latin terminology these days, I'm afraid I can't pass on the local secrets, since I forgot them nearly as soon as I heard them. But I can tell you that I made a lovely batch of yam fries with achiote powder and coriander last night. I know, I know -- "yam fries" just doesn't have the zesty charm of "sweet potato fries", but I was working with what I had on hand.

These are baked, not fried, but if you leave them in a hot oven long enough they still get nice crisp edges. Serve with sweet chili sauce, and/or plain ol' ketchup.

2 Yams, cut into short fry-like chunks, or any shape you prefer
A small handful of achiote powder (made from annatto seeds, red and delicious, available at Mexican markets and elsewhere if you're lucky)
An ample shake of paprika
A few dashes of coriander powder
Cayenne, chili powder, or tabasco (I used the latter, but would have preferred the former)
Liberal pinches of sea salt
A tablespoon or two of olive oil

Toss to coat, spread out on a baking sheet (perhaps lined with foil if you're smarter than me), and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until edges are crisp and cooked through. Resist the urge to keep peeking and stirring -- one flip once they start to crisp is all you get. Remove and let cool! If you're smarter than me...

And, if you're like me, enjoy with beer. I'm still enjoying the last of summer's wheat beers, but I think an appropriately autumnal pumpkin ale would do as well, not to mention a classic pale ale or more gutsy IPA. If it's made from barley, it will go well.


Anonymous said...

god, i love your blog.

Robin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robin said...

Om nom nom. My fave

Allison said...

Oh yum.


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