Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Recipe: Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Pineapple-Cranberry Chutney

I have just a few finishing touches left to add before I post my review for Grange Restaurant in Sacramento (there was a lot to cover so I wanted to make sure I got it all), but before I do that and head to San Jose for Thanksgiving with my Mom and Aunt Matilda who’s visiting from New Mexico, I wanted to share one more little holiday inspired recipe. Some crisp & tender sweet potato fries.

They are everywhere right now: in casseroles, in stuffing, in soups, on Poor Girl Eats Well; sweet potatoes and their fine holiday friends have taken over the world as we embark upon the holiday season. And as much as I swear by my mother’s candied orange yams, I have this thing about sweet potato fries. In valley girl speak, I’m like, totally addicted to them. I wanted them badly and I wanted them now; fortunately I had a couple still hanging out in my Big Giant Bowl.

You can make this healthy, tasty snack a variety of ways with a multitude of different dipping sauces. This time around I gleaned some inspiration from Pyramid Alehouse, one of the many breweries in Downtown Sacramento, conveniently located across the courtyard from the Cathedral in which I sing. They serve their giant portion of sweet potato fries with a curried chutney that’s sweet & tangy enough to make you forget about ketchup. Since I’m not the hugest fan of fried things, I roast my “fries” in the oven with a minimal amount of olive oil to help give them a crisp exterior. I dust them lightly with salt, pepper & garlic, letting the true flavor of the sweet potato shine through and mix with the chutney. Speaking of which, this is another super easy “cheater” chutney that requires little effort to make. If you’re not into cranberries, try my other cheater chutney which uses mango instead.

Serve these at a slightly less traditional Thanksgiving feast or enjoy them on their own; this is a great, low cost snack that you’ll find yourself turning to again and again!

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Pineapple-Cranberry Chutney (serves 2; total cost per serving: $2.15)

2 large yams (about 1 lb. each)
2 T olive oil
1/8 t salt
1/8 t granulated garlic
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1/2 c pineapple chunks
1/3 c cranberry sauce (or 1/2 c dried cranberries soaked in 1/3 c wine)
1/4 c chopped bell peppers
2 T chopped red onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 t salt
1/4 t ground chipotle pepper (cayenne will also work)
1/8 t ground cumin
1/8 t curry powder

Preheat oven to 475°. Rinse & scrub the yams very well and peel if desired. Cut into 1/2" thick strips of about 2” in length. Place in a large bowl, add the olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic, and toss together until completely coated. Spread onto a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the fries are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

While the fries are baking, combine the pineapple, cranberry sauce, bell peppers, minced garlic, salt, chipotle pepper, curry powder and cumin into a food processor and pulse until you have a nice, chunky sauce. Once the fries are done, allow them to cool for about 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a generous amount of chutney, garnish with cilantro if you like and enjoy!


  1. This is on the menu for the INSTANT I get back from thanksgiving. I love sweet potatoes and cranberries with all my heart.

  2. I love sweet potato fries! this chutney was awesome. sometimes for a little more kick i season the fries before i bake them with cumin, chili powder, and paprika.

  3. i love this! i add a little brown sugar to the coating as well..

  4. I am confused about what I actually bought at the farmers market the other day- they were called sweet potatoes, but are not what I expected (they seem to be very common here in North Carolina, but not elsewhere). They are the ones with the bright orange/red flesh inside, not the starchier ones with yellow flesh. I think they might actually be "yams?" Is there a difference? I put some in a stew and I want to try making fries, but I'm not sure if they can pull it off.



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