I don’t eat out very much, but when I do, I splurge. I’m not saying that I spend a ridiculous amount of money. However, I usually like to order something that I can’t or won’t make for myself.
One my favorite restaurants in Gainesville is The Swamp Restaurant, which is the No. 1 college sports bar and restaurant in the nation. With everything from Cajun Gatortail to the Freshman 15 burger, the local eatery with a simple but delicious menu is a must-try.
I usually create my own burger while eating at the Swamp, but its sweet potato fries are the real reason I go to this local hangout. Crispy, crunchy and fried to perfection, these little wedges show regular french fries who’s the boss.
Last Thursday I had a serious craving for the sweet potato fries. However, I worked from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and I sat in class from 4 – 7 p.m. It was a long day, which means I didn’t have the time or energy to walk all the way to The Swamp Restaurant.
Remembering that I had a sweet potato in my room, I figured I would try making some baked fries, which are definitely healthier than the fried version. How hard could it be?
It turns out that sweet potato fries require very little preparation and are just about the easiest thing to cook. Moreover, the baked fries tasted even better than the fried version.
Whether you make them sweet or spicy, these fries complement any main dish. I enjoyed the fries with a baked salsa chicken entrée, which probably doesn’t look appealing, but I promise it was good. It had a real bite to it, but the fries balanced out the heat. Leave a comment or send me an email if you want me to post the chicken recipe.
All in all, the sweet potato fries were a huge success, and I plan to make these puppies again.
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- 1 medium-sized sweet potato
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Wash the potato and cut it into small wedges with a large, sharp knife.
- Put the wedges in a large bowl of cold water. Make sure that all the wedges are submerged in the water. Let sit for 20 minutes (I’m told that this is what makes the fries crunchy).
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Dump the water out of the bowl and dry the potato wedges. Add the olive oil and toss the fries until they are evenly coated. Add the pepper, salt and cinnamon and toss the wedges again.
- Arrange the fries in a single layer on a large baking pan. Cook the fries in the oven for 30 minutes, turning the wedges every 10 minutes. Cook for more time if you want them to be really crunchy.
- Remove from the oven and enjoy!
These fries were on the sweeter side, and I’m looking forward to making them again with chili powder or cayenne pepper. However, I might be back in my beloved kitchen by the time I experiment with these fries again.
Between registering for fall and summer classes and finishing my current courses, it’s hard to remember that there are only 28 days until I’m back in the homeland! Despite my excitement for what the future holds, I’m trying not to wish my days away. My experiences interning in the State Attorney’s Office during the summer and living in D.C. for the fall are going to be amazing, but I need to enjoy my last days in Gainesville. It’s unbelievable that once I leave in May, I won’t be back until January 2013!
Until next time,