Monday, May 31, 2010
Snack time, part one.
I am a snacker which is really the biggest challenge to any diet plan I embark on. Rice I can skip. Pasta, who needs you. Pies and tarts, I do not miss. But a bag full of nuts? Some cheezy pretzels? Crispy Indian muruku? Oh woe! Mostly I snack in front of the TV. I mean, where's the fun in watching TV if there's nothing to munch, right? Funnily enough, I don't ever eat popcorn at the cinema... don't know why! Go figure. Yes, it's the TV that really gets me going and going and going.
With the World Cup coming up in less than a week, we decided to devote June's installment of Don't Call Me Chef (a monthly food column I co produce with Marty Thyme and Hungry Caterpiller) to snacks fit for TV. I think it was the easiest challenge ever. There were many recipes I had to share, but I narrowed it down to one... watch for this space next Monday. Since I could only highlight one in the paper, I decided to do a run-up highlighting some of my other favourite snacks.
Am starting with sweet potato fries. They're so easy to make it's ridiculous. You need very few things: sweet potatoes (of course), salt, pepper, cayenne or paprika. Oh, and a nice, clean, scouring pad.
First, scrub the sweet potatoes clean because we're going to cook the skins along with the flesh.
All cleaned up? Great. Now it's time to cut em up. This depends on the size of your sweet potatoes. If your's are 6 inches or shorter, just cut them in half lengthwise and then into wedges. If you have really long sweet potatoes, cut them in half horizontally before cutting them lengthwise and into wedges.
OK. Now, to season. All you need is salt, pepper and paprika/cayenne. A huge pinch of everything is good enough for one sweet potatoe. Just rub them good and proper on the wedges, making sure all of them are coated well. I was frugal with the seasoning pre-frying as I like to sprinkle some salt and pepper on the fries once they're done.
Once seasoned, heat about 1/2 cup oil in a wok/saucepan. When it's hot, lower the heat and slowly slide in the wedges. Fry till the centre is cooked. You don't have to poke them; they're usually cooked if the outside is golden and crisp.
Drain them on paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper before serving.
Told you it was easy!