Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries Seasoned with Old Bay

by feastonthecheap on June 13, 2011

Mariel here. It’s hard to believe, but it’s already been a month since the last Secret Recipe Club – some of you may recall the divisive Zucchini Brownies incident – so I spent part of Sunday scrambling to whip up a winner from my assigned blog, Mom’s Fridge. Intent on selecting a surefire favorite, I divined a batch of Baked Old Bay Sweet Potato Fries loosely based on Barb’s Old Bay Potatoes. And unlike the brownies, these babies garnered a resounding two-thumb’s-up from my oh-so-official panel of culinary judges. My mom and I had both attempted Baked Sweet Potato “Fries” in the past, but were foiled by their mushy sogginess. The flavor was all right, the texture just wasn’t crunchy enough.

Determined to stick it to the sweet potato and coax out its inner crackle, I test-drove a number of techniques culled from both the interwebs and past experience. Lo and behold, I believe I’ve stumbled upon the Holy Grail of Tater Fry-Baking. As far as I’m concerned these are the three no-fail crisp-ifying rules: 1. Blanch the potatoes pre-baking, it helps strip out some of the extra starch 2. Include an egg white in your seasoning sauce to add a toasted golden shell to each “fry” 3. Preheat your cookie sheets so they’re already piping hot when you place the tots on top. The Old Bay is just the proverbial icing on the cake since I’m all for using this woefully underused spice whenever and wherever possible.

It should be noted that while I stuck fairly closely to Mom’s Fridge‘s seasoning mix, I changed up a few of the ingredients: I used a potpourri of sweet potatoes and russets (the russets are naturally firmer and they add a nice textural dimension to the fries, while the sweet potaters contribute a healthy dose of beta carotene), I swapped in fresh garlic instead of powdered, and I added the aforementioned egg white. The technique, as you now know, is entirely different. If you plan on serving these low-fat fries to guests – and don’t keep your kitchen stocked with fast food sleeves – I discovered that good old fashioned coffee filters work beautifully in a pinch (as pictured). I plan on making these again and again since they’re cheap and, as my husband asserted whilst eating his fifth helping, they’re practically fat-free. They aren’t, but they ain’t deep-fried either.

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Crispy Old Bay Sweet Potato Fries
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 sweet potatoes or 2 russet potatoes (or one of each) – $1.98
1 Tablespoon of Old Bay Seasoning + a sprinkle (spicy or cajun-style seasoning mixes also work well) – stock
1 egg white – stock
1 Tablespoon of olive oil + a little for brushing the tin foil – stock
2 cloves of garlic, minced finely – stock
¼ teaspoon kosher salt – stock
A pinch freshly-ground black pepper – stock
Grand total assuming “well-stocked” kitchen: $1.98
Cost per serving: $0.49

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line 2-3 cookie sheets with aluminum foil greased with cooking spray or olive oil. PS: Parchment paper will produce an even crispier result, so use it if you have it. Spray or brush it with olive oil, as directed above.

2. Wash and scrub the potatoes, leave the skin intact. Cut the potatoes into thin 2-inch-long strips. Make them as uniform as possible so they bake evenly.

3. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Boil the potato strips for 3 minutes, then immediately pour into a colander and run cold water over the potatoes to halt the cooking process. This is known as blanching, in case you didn’t already know. Drain the potatoes on paper towels and blot well.

4. Pre-heat the foil-lined cookie sheets in the oven for 5 minutes. If you’re using parchment paper, just preheat the cookie sheets, slip on the parchment paper when you’re ready to bake the fries.

5. Meanwhile, whisk the egg white, add the Tablespoon of Old Bay, salt, garlic, olive oil and black pepper. Toss with potato spears, coating evenly.

6. Spread the spears in a single layer on prepared, hot cookie sheets. As much as possible, try and make sure they’re not touching or they’ll steam, not bake, and be a little softer.

7. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn with a spatula. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until the potatoes are lightly browned and crispy. Finish with a dusting of Old Bay.

8. Store at room temp in an airtight container lined with paper towels



{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Blog is the New Black June 13, 2011 at 7:11 am

These look so crispy and delicious! YUM!

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Steve @ HPD June 13, 2011 at 8:02 am

I’ve never been able to get baked fries to tasty fry-y (fry-ee?). But the blanching / egg white combo sounds like a winner. Cheers!

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Barbara | Creative Culinary June 13, 2011 at 9:47 am

I did some sweet potato oven fries not too long ago and while good, they most definitely could use some crisping up…I will have to try your tips because I sure do love the flavor of the sweet potato in a fry.

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Maria June 13, 2011 at 10:35 am

Sweet potato fries are my favorite! We can’t wait to try this recipe!

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Dan June 13, 2011 at 10:42 am

I never say no to sweet potato fries. Those look excellent! Just a matter of finding a dip. Cheers!

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Barb S June 13, 2011 at 10:42 am

I’ll have to try these again with your special crisping technique. Glad you enjoyed them!

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Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom} June 13, 2011 at 11:12 am

Those look like they turned out fabulous! I have had sweet potato fries before but have never made them myself. I can’t wait to try this one out!

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Jeanette June 13, 2011 at 11:33 am

Yum! My kids love Old Bay Seasoning, and I love the idea of using them on sweet potatoes. Love your Fry-Baking Method!

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Katrina June 13, 2011 at 11:39 am

Oh how I love sweet potatoes in any way, shape or form!

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Jason June 13, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Great looking fries, nice and crispy.

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Bizzy June 13, 2011 at 1:31 pm

There is nothing better than sweet potato fries. I make them often enough to call them favorites for us. Yours bring back fond memories.

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Rachel @ Baked by Rachel June 13, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Is it odd that I’ve never had sweet potato anything including fries? They look amazing.

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Kathy - Panini Happy June 13, 2011 at 2:22 pm

My husband loves Old Bay – I’ll definitely try it on our sweet potato fries the next time I make them (about every 3 weeks these days). My current favorite sweet potato fries seasoning: garam masala!

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Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray June 13, 2011 at 3:05 pm

What great hints for crisp fries! I have the same problem, and who wants soggy fries? And I would have never thought of using coffee filters as sleeves, how cute!

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sara June 13, 2011 at 4:00 pm

These look fantastic! Love the combination of sweet potatoes and Russets! :)

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Lana @ Never Enough Thyme June 13, 2011 at 4:20 pm

How interesting! I’ve never been able to get a good, crispy oven fried potato. I will certainly be trying your method asap.

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Tessa June 13, 2011 at 4:59 pm

I have always wondered how to make sweet potato oven fries crispier. I will have to try these out!

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Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen June 13, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Aha, so blanching is the trick. I’ve never gotten my baked fries so beautiful and crispy looking like yours.

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dessertfortwo June 14, 2011 at 12:44 am

Ok, this is what my sweet potato fries have been missing–egg whites! Thanks so much! I’ll give these a try tomorrow night :)

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Julie M. June 14, 2011 at 8:22 am

I adore sweet potato fries and having a husband who grew up in Maryland, Old Bay is a staple in this house. I will definitely be trying these out!

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sarah, simply cooked June 14, 2011 at 8:47 am

Ah, thanks for testing for crunch, because that’s what I have been looking for, too. I refuse to deep fat fry anything–it ruins both nutrition and flavour. Thanks!

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Karen June 14, 2011 at 8:57 am

Oh my, just looking at these beauties makes me want to head for the kitchen and cook up a batch! Yum!

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Lisa~~ June 14, 2011 at 2:33 pm

This is my first month in The Secret Recipe Club and it’s so much fun! I’m just loving all the new blogs and recipes I’m seeing. These sweet potato fries look wonderful and I know my family would love them.

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Elle June 14, 2011 at 4:24 pm

I have a special place in my heart for sweet potato fries. Baking them is even better!

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DessertForTwo June 14, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Ok, made these tonight and LOVED them! I never thought to put old bay on sweet potato fries–now I’m hooked on it :)

I didn’t blanch my fries first because I’m lazy and I still got great results. I think letting them cool after baking is key.

Thanks for a great recipe :)

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Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) June 15, 2011 at 2:31 pm

I have been in search of the magic known as crispy baked sweet potato fries. Thanks for ending the search here. I’ll be trying this very, very soon!

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Jane Bonacci - The Heritage Cook June 17, 2011 at 1:58 am

I love potatoes in any form, but flavored with Old Bay and fried? I just died and went to heaven!!

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amanda @ fake ginger June 18, 2011 at 10:32 am

I can’t wait to try this technique! The potatoes look and sound fantastic!

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Beau @ SomethingEdible.com June 20, 2011 at 3:56 pm

I oven-fry spuds all the time, and I’ve never thought to do the egg white thing to hold the seasoning. I’ll have to give it a go. Thanks for the tip!

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Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen June 21, 2011 at 10:15 pm

My middle son will be so happy I came across this recipe. Sweet potato fries are his favorite!

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Marly June 22, 2011 at 3:26 pm

We love sweet potato fries and this recipe is one that we’re definitely going to have to try. Thanks!

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Mikela February 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm

5 Stars! Tried and family approved. The hubby and I don’t ever like sweet potatoes but like to eat healthy and now we found a recipe we love. Thank you!

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Oswaldo Fong February 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Looking forward to reading more. Great blog post.Really thank you! Much obliged.

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Arthur in the Garden! March 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Great Idea!

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