Sweet and spicy

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet po...

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Until about two years ago, I would not eat sweet potatoes. To my way of thinking, the potato is pretty much perfect. It’s texturally pleasing, tasty, versatile. And tends toward savory. A sweet potato is… creamier and oranger and, well, sweet. That just seems wrong.

But two years ago a friend of mine invited me to their house for dinner, and she served sweet potatoes.

When you’re a grown up, eating at someone else’s table, you don’t get to turn up your nose at foods someone serves you, unless you’re actually well-and-truly allergic to them. So I put on my Big Girl pants, and ate the sweet potatoes.

And they were not bad at all.

Lesson learned.

When I was down in Huntsville last year, I stopped somewhere that served sweet potato fries. I asked about them, and the Very Nice Waiter let me know that they had the best sweet potato fries. We serve them in a brown sugar glaze, he confided, just the way they should be. We don’t mix salty and sweet like a lot of places do; that’s all wrong.

I trusted him; I gave them a shot.

They were gross.

I’m sorry, but to my way of thinking, all that sweet needs a little something to offset it. I like the balance, like the salty-and-sweet of a PayDay.

If you prefer your sweet potatoes smeared in butter-and-brown-sugar… well, more for you. If on the other hand you like a little spice with your sweet, you might like these…

Preheat the oven to 450ºF
Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into roughly 1-inch cubes
Put the potato chunks into a large microwavable bowl and cover with water
Microwave for 5-6 minutes
Drain well
Toss with 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 tsp of sea salt, and 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust as needed to taste)
Bake for about 25-30 minutes, turning about 1/2 through.

When finished, they will be a perfect balance. To taste: sweet, salty and savory all at once. Texturally: brown and just starting to crisp on the edges, with a creamy smooth texture inside.


Or so say I. Your mileage may vary.


About aka gringita
Flotsam generator. Amateur photographer. Avid traveler. Christ follower.

5 Responses to Sweet and spicy

  1. I’m not a big fan of sweet potatoes either, unless they’re fried up in tempura batter and served with a dipping sauce. Having said that, I have tried sweet potato fries, and agree – they need the salt to offset the sweetness!


  2. Ged says:

    Sweet potato fries with salt (with garlic mayo dip), however, are fantastic!

    Though I will admit it took a couple of trys to appreciate their flavour…


    • aka gringita says:

      Garlic mayo dip sounds intriguing. Slightly off-topic, it reminds me of the Wasabi Mayo that Friday’s currently serves with their BBLT (a BLT with double-bacon) sandwich. As much as I like bacon, the spread is so good that it’s now the driver of ordering it… I’ve described the sandwich as a “wasabi delivery system”


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