Wednesday, February 27, 2008

spicy sweet potato wedges + five etceteras

spicy sweet potato fries

Five Bits of Housekeeping

  • After a series of unfortunate kitchen mishaps over the last week, I decided to give up cooking for at least a couple days and focus my efforts instead on mixology at my friend Jocelyn’s Oscar Party on Sunday night. I guest-blogged Dove Cocktails over on her site today, though I prefer to call them Pomegranate Margaritas. [Dove Cocktails at]
  • Earlier this month, Alex and I took some photos of two of our favorite chocolate shops in New York City, Li-Lac Chocolates in the West Village and Jacques Torres in Dumbo. You can see them on [Jacques Torres on, Li-Lac on]

nonpareils/li-lac (6)

  • Among those kitchen “mishaps” were not one but two failed attempts at butterscotch pudding last week, both of which I sobbed to David Lebovitz about. David, meanwhile, was having his own kitchen melodramas, trying to recreate black-and-white cookies at home. So, we made a deal. He posts his flawless butterscotch pudding recipe (which you should go drool over right now) and I’ll post my near-flawless black-and-white cookie recipe sometime soon. [Butterscotch Pudding at]
  • I have never been one to make New Years Resolutions, after That One Time I tried and failed to become a nicer person. However, in the beginning of this year, I set out several resolutions for this here site, and you know what? It’s been great! In reference to the third item—getting thriftier in the kitchen—here are a couple things I have made with odds and ends that would have otherwise gone unused or wasted: I used up some heavy cream, the zest of an old grapefruit and an odd handful of dried figs to make an adaptation of my favorite scones; we used tomato puree, a half onion, part of a bag of frozen spinach, a leftover ball of mozzarella and three quarter-full boxes of different pasta shapes clogging our pantry to make a baked “ziti” of sorts; and most deliciously, some nearly, always forgotten, leftover half-baguette and a few cups of milk on their way out for some weekend French toast, replete with sautéed apples, ohyeswedid.
  • In fact, the Site Resolutions have been going along so swimmingly, we’ve done gone and added more. In the next week, we *hope* to unveil a place where you can buy reasonably-priced prints of photos—we’re just waiting for our order to arrive, so I can personally verify that we will not be inadvertently selling you sub-par prints, a fear which has kept me from setting up such a shop for a very long time. What? I worry a lot.

sweet potato wedgessweet potato spices

At Last, A Recipe!

I have been making these spicy sweet potato wedges for so long, I can’t believe I haven’t told you about them yet! You should revolt or something. (Just kidding! Please don’t!) In short, I found the recipe a few years ago and the odd mix of spices intrigued me—fennel, oregano, coriander and red pepper flakes. I love contrasting sweet with bright and sharp flavors, so this quickly became my favorite way to roast sweet potatoes. Try them out!

spicy sweet potato fries

Roasted Spiced Sweet Potatoes
Adapted from Gourmet, January 2002

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes (the latter will make them quite spicy, so using according to your preferences)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 pounds medium sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 425°F. Coarsely grind coriander, fennel, oregano, and red pepper flakes in an electric coffee/spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Stir together spices and salt.

Cut potatoes lengthwise into 1-inch wedges. Toss wedges with oil and spices in a large roasting pan and roast in middle of oven 20 minutes. Turn wedges over with a spatula and roast until tender and slightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes more.


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