It’s been a long and tiring summer, encompassing a major illness, lots of applications, and transatlantic travel. One month I spent nights in 11 different cities in four different countries.
A look back at the diary where I’ve recorded every dinner I’ve eaten since the second week of January confirms the fatigue I’ve felt followed me into the kitchen.
The year started with chicken in Riesling, risottos, and cassoulet, but around the six-month mark ‘tuna sandwiches’ started popping up with increasing frequency; McDonald’s cheeseburgers and take-out pizza followed shortly thereafter.
I haven’t given up cooking entirely, but the dishes that have weathered the season trended toward the simple side: omelets, nicoise-style salads, crumbles and cobblers. And there’s one side dish in particular that shows up nearly every time we have hamburgers and even when we don’t: oven baked sweet potatoes.
Requiring very little prep and even less attention, these are the perfect side dish for the disenchanted cook. And they taste good enough that they just might get one excited about cooking again.
Sweet Potato Fries for Two
One medium sweet potato
Preheat the oven to 475.
Peel the sweet potato and cut it into batons about ½ inch wide.
In a bowl, toss the sliced potato with a very small amount of olive oil – no more than a scant cap-full – a couple generous pinches of salt, and chipotle powder to taste.
Spread the seasoned potatoes in a single layer in a roasting pan and cook for 15-18 minutes, flipping the fries once midway through cooking. They should be nicely browned – I like mine almost burned.