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Indulging my interest in food and flavor, I love to write about cooking, gardening and life's bounty. My new book - "Discover Cooking with Lavender"- is now available

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sweet Potato Fries

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 Poggi Bonsi Lavender Displayfood-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.  Mark Restuarant & Bar's Sweet Potato FriesSkeptically, 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 French Fries Topped with Lavender and Blue CheeseSweet Potato Fries Topped with Lavender and Blue Cheese


Yam1 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 budsCut Up Yams

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Peel and cut yam into 1/4" thick sticks.
  3. 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.
  4. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place fries in a single layer on baking sheet.
  5. Bake in 450F oven for 15 minutes. Oven Ready Fries
  6. 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.









debradanielszeller@clearwire.com said...

Such perfect fries! What a great idea, I can't wait to try them.

Jennifer said...

Lynn and I are excited to make these!! They look fabulous.

Anonymous said...

while I am not a blue cheese fanatic, I am willing to try this with feta instead. I own Annie's Lavender & Coffee Cafe where we have lavender on our menu daily. I serve a potato salad with herb de provence and during our lavender festival, we serve lavender roasted chicken, lavender ice cream and lavender margaritas. We are the first to introduce this wonderful herb in a cafe setting in the Magic Valley of Twin Falls, Idaho. I have had a lavender farm for 11 years and after the passing of my husband, decided to take my lavender business in a different direction. I can tell you that we are a hit. We also offer lavender lattes and lavender frozen mochas...my customers are diggin' it. Please call me to discuss having you come to our festival in 2011. 208-308-0887
Peggy Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Very informative. Thank you.

Susan G said...

I grow English lavender and use it for potpourri and for making soap. My husband makes a salad dressing but other than that I did not know of many recipes. I can't wait to try this sweet potato fries recipe they look delicious.

Anonymous said...

very good!