Lately I've been making a lot a lot of pasta, of different shapes and colors. But before I bombard you with those posts, I'm sharing with you my little experiment on this quick, scrumptious and flavorful snack (for me, breakfast). Baked sweet potatoes wedges. Oh yes, they are flavorful, they are sweet and salty, sharp and hot!
I did not create this recipe. Credits to the Anthropologist in the Kitchen- Zhuang Zu Yi. Zhuang wrote a book The Anthropologist in the Kitchen (in Chinese) on her culinary experiences in the Massachusetts Cambridge Culinary School and a fancy hotel in Hong Kong after quitting her PhD study in Anthropology to pursue her passion in cooking. Ever since I read her book a few years back, I have become a fan of hers. Okok, I admit, I am a fan of a handful. First Jamie Oliver, then Rachel Khoo, now Zhuang and a few more coming. But they're all very special, creative and live in their kitchens.
Ok now, back to the sweet potatoes. Zhuang shared this recipe on her blog. She suggested adding honey, orange juice, salt and pepper and some chilli powder. At first I was quite skeptical about the sweet-sour-spicy combination. For me, it's either sweet and sour, sour and hot, or even sweet and hot, but just not that trio! Right?
So putting on this geeky hat, I decided to do a little experiment. I made 4 batches of wedges, a batch of each combination. My conclusion is that the sweetness from the honey and the citrusy twang from the orange juice are a heavenly match. Also, baking them together caramelizes the sweet potatoes, yummy! So, each of them is indispensable. Whereas, the chili powder, it's a "nice-to-have", gives the wedges a little kick, but not necessary. Unless spiciness is your thing, I would suggest you to skip it and let the sweet and tangy caramel take the stage all to themselves and melt in your mouth.
- 3 medium-sized sweet potatoes (yellow or purple*)
- 2-3 tbs of olive oil
- 2-3 tbs of honey
- juice from 1/2 orange
- a few pinches of salt
- ground pepper
- chili flakes/ chili powder (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
2. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Cut them into wedges. Place them in a big bowl.
3. Add in all the other ingredients and mix them with your hands.
4. Place the wedges in a wide-based baking tray. Try to get all the wedges touch the base so they'll later be caramelized. Then bake for 35-40min.
5. Serve immediately when done.
* Yellow sweet potatoes contain more juice than the purple ones. The yellow ones taste better in mashed potatoes whereas the purple ones taste better here as fries.