well i dont know about you guys but i have to say that one of my weaknesses when it comes to food is one of the most unhealthy foods to eat – i love french fries – fat, skinny, deep-fried, oven baked – any kind of fench fry, or chip as we call them in the uk. I can go weeks and weeks without chips and then suddenly i get a craving and there is nothing i can do to overcome it. i must have chips.
there is all this hype and hysteria about what we should and shouldnt eat and it gets confusing and so in my cooking i try to include things which i think are healthy and also have the odd cheeky naughty thing now and again. at the moment in beijing it is freezing cold and polluted and nasty and i feel homesick often and also feel unsure about what to cook and eat to feel cosy and warm.
I have been making lots of pasta bakes, stews and warming comfort foods and rather than just having mash or boiled potatoes with these, i have been going one further – making oven baked and seasoned sweet potato wedges – hoping that the look taste and feel of these will help overcome my chips cravings.
they are simple to make and for seasonings there are a whole lots of options.
I tend to take one medium sized sweet potato (can use ordinary potatoes too) per person as if there are leftovers they are great for later, but there are rarely leftovers. depending on how i feel i also change up the seasoning and spices to suit my cravings and also to compliment what im serving them with.
take 1 sweet potato per person and peel them using a potato peeler removing any eyes or dark spots. wash the potatoes thoroughly and then leave in a colander for about 15-20 minutes to air dry. if you have kitchen paper or a tea towel you can pat them dry to save time.
cut the potatoes length ways to make long finger like shapes. if the potatoes are too long then i sometimes half them across the short length too – this gives more chips per potato and i love it.
take a freezer bag or cleaned out small plastic bag and place the wedges in the bag. Make sure the bag doesnt have any holes in it as otherwise the marinade will leak out. This is where the wedges will marinade.
Per whole potato/per person, add 1 tablespoon of oliveoil into the bag and using your hand on the outside of the bag squeeze and move the potatoes around to make sure the wedges get coated in the oil.
I also always like to add 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped to every batch i make as i just love the taste of the garlic on the wedges.
Salt (i use sea salt but normal salt is also ok) and ground black pepper is also a must.
Next is to season and there are endless options to add to what has already been added above and below are some examples:
freshly chopped thyme and/or rosemary.
rosemary garlic and balsamic vinegar
paprika, cumin and curry powder
just plenty of finely chopped garlic if you are a garlic lover
freshly chopped dill leaves
finely chopped shallots, garlic, dijon mustard
The options are endless depending on your preferences.
Add the seasoning to the bag with the wedges, oil S&P and then close up the bag. Leave in the fridge for at least one hour – i try to make them the day before and leave them overnight to let the flavours really combine and develop.
When ready to cook the wedges, firstly preheat the oven at maximum heat – when putting the wedges into the oven you can reduce the heat to 190oC – 200oC.
Take a baking tray and pour the wedges and marinade out onto the tray to create a single layer.
Place the wedges in the oven for around 30 minutes keeping an eye on them to make sure that they are not on too high a heat. after 30 minutes take a sharp knife and poke it into one of the thickest wedges to see if it is cooked. If not, give it another 10-15 minutes. Between testing the wedges and adding more time, you may want to move the wedges around a little on the tray to ensure they cook evenly.
Once ready remove from the tray and serve. I sometimes just have these as a snack alone with some dips or some ketchup while watching DVDs but they go great with any main dish and i even like them when they are cold. Enjoy!