The classic combination of sweet and spicy is unfortunately largely absent in our household because my better half is not a fan of what we local call “Charif” – spicy! What I consider to be mildly spicy will cause tears to run down her face, ruining her mascara and evil glares to be cast in my direction – the only worse crime that I can commit is adding olives to…… pretty much anything.
Yesterday however, I was a late day for the missus and I was left to fend for myself. With this in mind, I had earlier visited the shuk to see what looked good and came away with a bag of the cutest sweet potatoes and some lemons – more about those later this week. Yes – fruit and vegetables can be cute and if I find miniatures of something I’ll usually pick it up and find a way to incorporate it in the weekly menu – peppers, eggplant and zucchini in their miniature versions are particular favourites!
Prepping these couldn’t be easier – I use the same technique for regular potatoes – cut them into chunks or wedges (I wanted to do wedges and chose longish thin sweet potatoes accordingly), toss them in a little oil to coat and spices according to what takes your fancy. In this case I was going for some heat so I used chili powder and some coarsely ground Shateh chili pepper for no other reason than I had them both in the cupboard. I find that throwing the potatoes, oil and spice in a plastic bag and give a good toss is a good way to prep them – then turn them out onto a baking sheet.
I threw them in the oven on a high heat and after about 20 minutes turned them. You want them to soften in the middle whilst the edges take caramelise adding both flavour and texture.
Serve them with ketchup, your favourite dip or au naturel – they’re very moreish so don’t make crazy quantities or your waistline will suffer. Accompany with beer.
4 small sweet potatoes – long and thin works well for wedges – cut into 4 along the length
1 tbsp of oil (start with a little less and add more if needed)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp chili flakes (I used Shateh)
Substitutes – the kids love these without any spice at all or with cinnamon. Cumin works well too alone or in combination with pretty much anything. I like doing the same recipe using potatoes with a mix including some or all of garlic powder / onion powder / italian seasoning / paprika in any of it’s versions
Toss together, transfer to a baking tray and put in a hot oven for about 45 minutes, turning part of the way through