Experimentation, Whiskey and Wednesday Nights

I think I may have negotiated a peace treaty between my family and sweet potatoes.

As you may have read, I live in a land of picky eaters, and while my heathens will never touch sweet potatoes anyway, my husband also avoids them at all costs…unless they are coated in enough sugar, butter and spices to trick his picky palate.

Last week, J came over for a little mid-week get-together. We planned to hang out, toss some food on the grill and celebrate…even if we were just celebrating the fact that it was Wednesday and we hadn’t lost our minds yet. J brought the whiskey, and I brought the food. Unfortunately, I realized far too late that I was lacking in side dishes. When I got home from work, I discovered that I at least had two forgotten sweet potatoes hanging out in my pantry; subsequently, I was determined to fashion something out of them in one hour or less. I fell back on my classic strategy, and assumed that roasting any type of vegetable is my best bet. Thus, roasted sweet potatoes became reality. This idea was an experiment and a risk, and both my husband and J looked at me like I had lost my dang mind, while secretly planning to poison them both.

Here is how it started:

I simply had two large sweet potatoes, some extra virgin olive oil and some kosher salt. I peeled the potatoes, then diced them to what my cocktail-laden mind considered uniform size:

Did I mention spatial reasoning is not my strong suit? Anyway, I tossed these potatoes in about 3 tablespoons of olive oil:

And liberally sprinkled them with kosher salt:

I hear your skepticism. This is Louisiana, sugar. Salt is a food group. Moving on…I put these potatoes in a 375 degree oven, and tossed them about every 20 minutes or so. I kept a careful watch, because I was aiming for this:

See that golden-browned section of happiness? I kept at it until my whole pan of potatoes resembled this little nugget for perfection. This probably took 45 minutes to 1 hour, but the end result was absolutely beautiful. Though J and my husband looked absolutely pained when they tried these potatoes, they both exclaimed with surprise that this experiment was a shocking and unexpected success. Basically, we accomplished the flavor and texture of sweet potato fries, without the resultant deep-fried, health disaster.

Even if you have disliked sweet potatoes up to this point, I urge you to try them this way. I promise, it’s dang tasty.

And nothing beats rubbing in a little, “see, I was right” on occasion.


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