Sweet Potato Fries
As I've traveled around to talk about my new book – “Discover Cooking with Lavender”, I’ve learned even more new ways to enjoy this aromatic herb. My favorite is Sweet Potato French Fries topped with Lavender and Blue Cheese.
I congratulate the innovative chef who put this item on the menu at Mark Restaurant and Bar. Lavender doesn't usually get even a small mention on most menus. I knew I had to taste these fries since I am constantly praising lavender. One small problem, I hate sweet potatoes. And yet, could I really snub my favorite herb?
The restaurant is located in Burien just south of Seattle near SeaTac Airport. I was there doing a book event at a food-lover's gift shop, Poggi Bonsi. Susie Gee, the host at Poggi Bonsi, mentioned that if I was hungry, the restaurant across the street served Sweet Potato Fries topped with Lavender and Blue Cheese. I was curious, so I crossed the street and decided to give this dish a try.
A large plate of fries was placed in front of me. My eyes feasted on the vivid orange potatoes, the purple lavender buds and the creamy color of the melting Blue Cheese. Skeptically, I picked up my fork and took my first taste. Wow! The flavors were perfect together. The sweet taste of the potato complemented the tangy blue cheese. Lavender contributed a floral note, marrying the potatoes and the cheese.
As I gobbled up one fry after another, I began plotting how I would make this dish at home. Easy, healthy and flavorful, Sweet Potato French Fries topped with Lavender and Blue Cheese has become one of my all time favorites. I discovered I love sweet potatoes as long as they are served with lavender.
Note: Be sure to use "yams". On my first attempt, I used a sweet potato. The flesh was nearly white, and the texture was very hard and dry, the taste was not as sweet as what I remembered from those at the restaurant. I went back to the store and, after talking with the produce guy, I bought "yams". I got the result I was looking for. I've learned that "Yams" are a type of Sweet Potato, sometimes known as a red skinned sweet potato.
Sweet Potato Fries Topped with Lavender and Blue Cheese
1 yam (in the United States orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are called yams), peeled and cut lengthwise into ¼ inch thick sticks*
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Blue Cheese crumbles
1 teaspoon lavender buds
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Peel and cut yam into 1/4" thick sticks.
- Put cut up yam into a bowl or a plastic bag; add salt, pepper and olive oil. Toss or shake until yam sticks are coated with olive oil.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place fries in a single layer on baking sheet.
- Bake in 450F oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven, place on a serving plate sprinkle with Blue Cheese crumbles and lavender.
* Note: For cutting the sweet potato (yam) into fries, use a french fry cutter. I found a great one at Mrs. Cooks in Seattle. It is a low tech gadget with 3 interchangeable blades. It will cut a sweet potato into thin or thick french fries. The third blade cores and sections apples or pears in one simple step.