It may be tradition to grill outside on the fourth of July, but when I imagine grilling outside on an uncovered porch with the southern Texas sun beating down upon my head, in this regard I am a tradition breaker. So unless we get invited to someone's house where they have water misters on their covered porch or their property is next to a lake with a cool breeze, we'll be taking our celebration inside, thank you very much.
These sweet potato fries require no grilling and have a herb maple mustard glaze that would also be great basted on roasted chicken. I adapted the recipe from Bobby Flay's "Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges" on the Food Network and made it work for the indoor oven. Even if you happen to have spectacular outdoor grilling weather where you live this weekend, saving space on the grill can be helpful too. The fries are cut in rustic 1/2-inch pieces, microwaved to tenderize, slathered with the glaze, and lined up on wire cooling racks sitting on a baking sheet, then put under a broiler to caramelize. Simple and addicting, I'll be making these often to go with my healthy homemade hamburger meal.
Sweet Potato Fries with Herb Mustard Maple Glaze
(recipe adapted from Bobby Flay on the Food Network)
4 medium sweet potatoes, 2-1/2 lbs. total (pick potatoes that are uniform and around 6 inches in length)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grainy mustard or dijon mustard (I used my homemade mustard)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 13' x 18' baking sheet
Two wire cooling racks
Scrub and dry the sweet potatoes. Peel and slice off the pointy ends of each potato. Cut in half lengthwise, then divide each half lengthwise, and continue to divide lengthwise until you have somewhat uniform 1/2-inch pieces. Some pieces may be slightly thinner or not perfectly square, but that's okay, you're going for a more rustic cut, not perfectly uniform pieces.
Put the sweet potato pieces in a large microwave-safe dish. Add 1/4 cup water, cover, and microwave on high for 10 minutes. While the sweet potatoes cook, whisk together the olive oil, mustard, maple syrup, minced herbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the sweet potatoes to the bowl and toss gently to coat.
Turn oven to the broil setting, and move the oven rack to the upper third of the oven. Take a large baking sheet (13" x 18") and line it with aluminum foil. Place one of the wire cooling racks on the baking sheet. Place the sweet potato pieces on the rack, lining them up right next to each other, and fit as many of the pieces you can on the rack. Place the baking sheet with the sweet potatoes in the oven, and leave the oven door slightly open so the broiler is forced to remain on to keep temperature. Let the sweet potatoes caramelize under the broiler for about 7 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and turn the sweet potatoes over to caramelize the other side. An easy way to do this is to place the second wire cooling rack so that its top lays on top of the potatoes (feet up), creating a wire rack "sandwich" with the fries in between. Holding both racks together with gentle pressure, flip the racks so that the uncaramelized potato sides face up, and remove the top wire cooling rack. Place the baking sheet in the oven under the broiler, leaving the oven door slightly open for another 5 minutes until the sweet potatoes are slightly caramelized. Remove from oven and serve warm.
Makes 2-4 servings