Saturday, November 22, 2008

Dollar Friendly

You know from the last post that I'm preparing for Thanksgiving, so I have to pinch a few pennies in order to work the masterpiece I'm planning in honor of the holiday dedicated to food. Anyhoo. I was inspired to bring back my red beans and rice after reading a post about Monday red beans and rice on YatCuisine. I paired that with some cornbread. What makes this blog-worthy is the edition of sweet potato fries to the plate.
This was just an off-chance craving. I usually microwave sweet potatoes and treat them like a baked potato. Visions of the sweet potato fries I had while on a commercial shoot in Los Angeles popped into my head. Don't know why, but the vision hit and I had to act.
I used a Cook's Illustrated recipe as the base. It was pretty simple: toss the fries in oil, salt and pepper; throw them into the oven; handle them with care while they are cooking. How could I mess that up?
Here we go. I started by heating a cast iron skillet in the oven. CI recommended a baking sheet; I knew cast iron would be better for me. Leave it in until it's screaming hot.
I wanted to use my never-been-used-in-four-years French fry disc for Miracle. Note to self: potatoes go in sideways. The potato had to be trimmed to fit the feed tube. This is the one time I wish I had a wider feed tube.
I tossed these in canola oil, kosher salt, black pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon. I never eat sweet potatoes without nutmeg. (It just ain't right to not pay homage to sweet potato pie.)
Add a little oil to the skillet and arrange the fries in a single layer. Bake until golden brown on the underneath. Here's the tricky part: flipping the fries. You have to use a thin spatula to get underneath the fries and not leave the caramelized portion on the pan. Enter fish spatula.
After you've turned them, throw them back into the oven until done. So simple and so good. Inexpensive too!
Tools of the trade:

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