sweet potato and onion fries, and a temporary farewell

I’m a sucker for a sweet potato “fry.” No, not the kind submerged in oil, tortured, scalded and grease-ified until there’s no longer any flavor. But a nice crispy, baked version enhanced with a little onion and fresh herbs.

My Ma has been making a variant of these for as long as I can remember, before sweet potato fries graced the menus of so many burger joints and pubs. My mother: sweet potato Pioneer Woman. Just don’t tell Ree. She’s got that whole PW market cornered.

As a child, I remember tugging at my mother’s leg while she was manning the stove, asking for a taste. If she wouldn’t give me one I would go into the pantry to grab some peanut butter. I would then smear a handful of peanut butter on her leg, snatch up a fistful of fries with my peanut-buttery hands, and play outside (and well out of sight) until dinnertime. And you wonder why I was raised in Alaska amongst a tribe of cannibalistic Eskimos*.

These “fries” (“bakes” just sounds stupid) are simple, quick, and pay gorgeous compliment to whatever else you’re serving on your plate. Most of all, they taste fresh and light: they won’t weigh you down and your kids will dig ’em too. So much so that they will distract you with peanut butter leg just to cop a taste.

All you need are a few simple ingredients: three (or more) sweet potatoes, a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and dry minced onion. The onion can be found on the spice aisle of any grocery store. Sometimes it’s called “instant minced onion” which baffles me—it’s sort of like calling dry mustard “instant mustard.”

Chop each sweet potato in half and then into 16 wedges. Place in a large bowl.

Pour in the olive oil, toss to coat, and then season with the onion, salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 400F, and lay fries on a baking sheet lined with Silpat or aluminum foil. Don’t crowd the pan—the fries will not get crispy if you do. Use two baking sheets and roast in two batches if you have to. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until fries are crispy and golden.

Serve with a dipping sauce (mine is sour cream, naturally) and a freshly chopped parsley on top.

Beauties, eh? I love the color and the different textures coming together.

Lightly crispy on the outside with flakes of crisped onion, soft on the inside, and never gooey or oil-soaked.

See why I tortured my mother so? Don’t worry—payback is a b####. And it’s coming to me in the form of a 14-month little girl with a knack for being sneaky and hiding my bras in the litter box.

At least in this family, life is always interesting, if messy.

I’m off to that lovely nation to the south for a little R & R with my best girls. I’ll be back next week tanned, hungover, and just rejuvenated enough to tear apart the kitchen with some new recipes.

Have a fantastic week, stay out of trouble, and eat fries. Lots and lots of fries.



Sweet Potato and Onion Fries

  • 3 sweet potatoes or yams, washed and dried
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dry minced onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 400F. Cut sweet potatoes in half width-wise and then each half into 8 wedges. Place wedges in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle on the salt, pepper and onion. Toss to ensure an even distribution of the spices. Place wedges on a baking sheet (do not crowd the baking sheet—it will prevent the fries from getting crispy) and bake for 20-25 minutes until crisped and golden. Top with the fresh parsley and serve immediately. Serves 8 as a side dish.

*I was not, fortunately, raised by cannibalistic Eskimos*****. I was raised in Seattle by my dear parents who have always loved me, supported me, and let me make up stories about torturing them with peanut butter****. I have never been much of a prankster**. And the torture I have caused my parents has been purely out of my horrid****** choice in men (Husband excluded)***.

**I did, however, once put superglue on my brother’s doorknob in hopes that his hand would stick. I didn’t know it would dry so quickly.

***Dave, I love you!

****Mom and Dad, please continue to read my blog. You’re the best.

*****I’m going to Mexico now.

******These asterisks don’t make any sense.



  1. Are you familiar with tastespotting.com? Darkly evil time sucker. Anyhoo, I spotted this http://catesworldkitchen.com/2010/04/amazing-sweet-potato-fries/ on that and well, it’s tempting, no?

    I love your blog & style.

  2. I also love your blog and these sweet potatoes look yummy!

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