This is my lucky day! I thought, as I stared at the pile of sweet potato fries on my husband’s plate.
We were sitting at Kerbey Lane Cafe, for the third time in three days. When we drive into Austin, we don’t set the Garmin for the hotel – we set the Garmin to take us straight to Kerbey Lane. Checking in to the hotel and dumping our bags can wait. That big bowl of ridiculously awesome Kerbey Queso can’t.
My husband’s burger – please, for his sake, please let that be a beef pattie – sat next to his multi-grain bun and a pile of sweet potato fries. My husband does potatoes in exactly two forms: white potatoes cut into thin, fast-food style strips or Chick-fil-A waffle fries.
We’ve been making it a point to avoid “bad carbs” but I’d made it known that we were free to take our Carbivore act on the road that weekend. Hill Country wineries, Fredericksburg bakeries, chips & queso, heavenly migas… white is temporarily the new the wheat! I felt bad. But I had a plan.
“Oooh. I’ll trade you my guac for the fries,” I cheerfully offered. After all, guacamole was the first green thing that I got my husband to eat and still one of his favorites. And he looooves to put a big dollup on his burger. I love sweet potatoes in any form. Win-win, right? Wrong.
“You can have a few but you can’t take them all. I asked for those. I even paid extra for them.” I’m quite certain the look on my face was completely deserving of the giggles it drew from our friends across the table.
If he’ll eat ‘em, I’ll make em. And I’ll even put bacon on top They’re a bit more of an indulgence over your everyday sweet potato fries so I usually save these for an occasion. They disappeared very quickly at Christmas. It’s easy to cut the recipe in half and munch on them for a couple of days – they’re even good cold, right out of the fridge.
Sweet Potato Wedges with Bacon Vinaigrette
Crispy potato wedges tossed with a vinaigrette of bacon, maple, and scallions.
- 4 lb medium sweet potatoes
- 1/2 lb sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced, reserving sliced greens separately
- 2 Tbsp Sherry vinegar
- 2 Tbsp maple sugar
- 1 Tbsp water
- Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 450.
- Peel sweet potatoes, then cut each lengthwise into 6 spears. Cut spears in half crosswise if desired, then arrange in 1 layer in 1-2 large baking pans.
- Cook bacon in a skillet over moderate heat, until browned and crisp.
- Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, then pour bacon fat through a fine-mesh sieve onto potato spears and toss with 2 spatulas to coat.
- Sprinkle spears with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and roast (uncovered), turning every 15 to 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender and edges are browned, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Transfer to a serving dish.
- Return bacon to cleaned skillet, then add oil and heat over moderate heat until hot but not smoking.
- Stir in white part of scallions and remove from heat. Stir in vinegar, maple syrup, water, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper and pour over potato spears.
- Sprinkle potatoes with scallion greens and serve warm.
Yields: 8-10 servings