3 sweet potatoes, 1 magical night

When you love sweet potatoes as much as I do, staying in on a Friday night to see how many different ways you can cook them could never be considered lame. We made sweet potato chips and fries, which I’ll reveal with an unnecessary amount of photos below. By the third preparation — cubed sweet potatoes baked with a pork loin — I was in too much of a food coma to snap pictures.

Later, I did feel lame when I opted out of celebratory drinks with friends because I smelled fried. (Celebratory drinks were not for us making three varieties of sweet potatoes in one evening — though that certainly merits a toast — but for a friend earning her Ph.D.)

We’ve always wanted to try making sweet potato chips, so we pulled out the mandoline and started there.

A few recipes online said to soak the slices in cold, salted water, so we did. Before frying them up, be sure to pat them dry. Remember, water + hot oil = dangerous situation.

We used a cast iron skillet and canola oil. Work in batches, and flip the chips with tongs half way through cooking.

When they’ve crisped up and darkened a bit, pull out the chips, letting the excess oil drip off. This skimmer-colander device worked well for that step.

Transfer the chips to a big bowl, and, while they’re still hot and oily, sprinkle them with salt and any other seasonings that you want. Then spread them out somewhere else in a single layer to cool. If you keep adding new batches on top of each other in the bowl, the chips will get soggy.

Our seasoning mix was a blend of sea salt, cayanne, smoked hot paprika and ancho powder. Sprinkle on the chips and toss. Oh my deliciousness.

For the most part, we devoured the batches as soon as they came out of the pan — they were that good. Total victory.

Round 2: Fries, prepared nearly the same way.

I love you, sweet potato!

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