The wonderful fact about baking fries vs. frying them is that baked fries are worthy of a frequent spot on the weeknight dinner menu.They are not as indulgent as fried potatoes, but equally as satisfying (we think) and much easier to make at home. We eat some variation of baked fries at least once a week.
Baked fries alone are a treat, but adding a dipping sauce elevates them from basic to memorable. At this time last year we were on our honeymoon in San Diego. We had a bit of a love affair with sweet potato fries during that trip. It really wasn’t the fries that drew us in, but the creatively flavored aioli dips on every menu. The Cranberry-Habanero aioli at Neighborhood was unforgettable. I recreated a similar, more seasonal version- Strawberry-Habanero Aioli. From the first dunk, it transports us back to one of our favorite places on Earth. Pair with our favorite Basic Bean Burger, a Green Flash West Coast IPA and a sunny day for the ultimate San Diego vibes.
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- Olive oil
- ~1/4 cup organic cornmeal (optional)
- ½ cup raw unsalted cashews
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup trimmed and halved strawberries
- 1 habanero pepper, stems/seeds/white membranes removed
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Wash and slice potatoes into fries
- Spread evenly on a sheet pan and toss with a drizzle of olive oil, big pinch of salt, and a few big pinches of cornmeal (~1/4 cup) until completely coated.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until they start to brown. Flip with a spatula, turn oven up to 450F, and bake for another 10-12 minutes until crisp.
- While fries bake, make aioli. Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Store in refrigerator to chill and thicken until ready to eat.
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