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Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries & Garlic Aioli!
Baked Sweet Potato Fries are a somewhat new addiction for our family, but definitely have been a very frequent dinner guest in recent months. The perfectly seasoned, crispy and caramelized outside and tender inside of the sweet potato fry dipped into a cool, smooth garlicky aoili is simply scrumptious.
My beautiful daughter and I were blessed to be able to go to several cities in Europe last June. The food inspirations we brought home with us have made many appearances when thinking about ‘What should we have for dinner tonight?’. While the Garlic Aoili definitely has it’s origins there, maybe not so much the sweet potato fries. But we like to think that’s were we really discovered them.
Both the Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries & Garlic Aioli can be directly attributed to Gothenburg, Sweden in our travels. One night a large group of family and local friends took us to dinner at one of their favorite local restaurants, The Barn.
My love of the Garlic Aioli came from another Gothenburg restaurant that was so good, we visited twice for dinner. Ma Cuisine is a cozy, french bistro with all the French classics perfectly prepared on a less-traveled side street with very picturesque outdoor seating area overlooking a church and a park.
Your are greeted by a gentleman who is also your waiter (maybe the owner?) and who always remembers you if you have even been there before, what you like to drink, (gin and tonic followed by a bottle of unforgettable French wine), and your favorite dishes. My uncle, whom we were traveling with, frequently visits Gothenburg and this restaurant, so we definitely received the family treatment.
The first night we were there, the special on the chalk board outside the front door was Vinkokta musslor med pommes frites which is Mussels cooked in wine with French fries. Ummmm…..yes, please!
Side note: My 11 year old daughter ordered Escargot gratiné à l’ail as an appetizer. I seriously could not have been more proud of my child if she had received a scholarship then I was of her obviously inherited food palate;)
My mussels were magnificent but I had a totally American moment and asked for ketchup to dip my fries in. There was definitely an almost hidden grimace from my waiter when he said he didn’t have ketchup but he could bring me some garlic aioli. And that’s how my aioli romance began.
Ok, nostalgic ramblings over. Baked sweet potato fries are simple to prepare, but there are several techniques to making your result crispy. I’ve been on a mission the last couple months to really perfect these fries and get them as close to fried and perfectly seasoned as possible without actually frying in oil.
How to make Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries & Garlic Aioli
The first is to soak the potatoes in a bowl of water for an hour. It has something to do with removing excess starch. It’s not totally necessary, but I have to say, the result is a crispier fry. But if you don’t have an extra hour, which sometimes I don’t, you will still have an excellent result.
Second, a little corn starch when you season the fries also makes a difference. I know, you just soaked them to remove starch and now you are adding it back? But it works, I swear.
Third, don’t crowd them on the pan or they will steam and not crisp. Also, make sure to start them on a preheated cookie sheet. In fact, I spread them out on two preheated cookie sheets.
Before placing on a cookie sheet, wash and cut into consistent fries. Place in a large mixing bowl and toss the fries with a combination of olive oil, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, garlic powder, paprika (smoked paprika if you have it) and corn starch.
I like my fries cut into a thick 1/4″ by 1/2″ wide wedge shaped steak fry as opposed to shoestring. For this larger size, bake for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven, and then flip and bake an additional 20 minutes. If you turn the oven off and crack the door at this point and let them sit for an additional 5-10 minutes, they will get a even a little more crispy.
While your fries are baking is the perfect time to make the Garlic Aioli. Aioli is a Mediterranean sauce consisting of garlic, olive oil, salt, egg, and lemon juice. Kind of the same, but so much more, then garlic mayonnaise. Most of the recipes I’ve found for aioli use mayonnaise as a base as opposed to attempting to emulsify your garlic, egg, and olive oil as is traditional. I’ve experimented enough with the ‘all the way from scratch version’ to be very happy with using mayo as my base.
For the garlic aioli, start by mincing 1-2 cloves garlic extremely fine, or use a garlic press. Place the garlic in a small bowl and add your kosher salt. Use the back of a spoon or a mortar and pestle to create a garlic and salt paste. Whisk in mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice, fresh ground pepper, and a little parsley. Simple and delicious.
Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries & Garlic Aioli are a great choice with a big, juicy cheeseburger. The Garlic Aioli is a perfect smear on a burger bun for an extra punch of flavor. They also go oh so well good with a perfectly seared Ribeye or one of my kid’s favorite dinners, Baked Salmon Cakes. Enjoy!
Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries and Garlic Aioli
Sweet Potato Fries
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes cut into 1/4" thick by 1/2" wide wedges.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt.
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1-2 cloves garlic finely minced or pressed.
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place 1-2 large cookie sheets in oven to preheat.
- Cut fries into wedges.
- Optional - Soak fries in cool water for an hour and then dry.
- Place fries in a mixing bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, corn starch, paprika, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Remove preheated cookie sheet(s) from oven and place fries flat, making sure to not overlap or crowd.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Flip and bake an additional 20 minutes.
- Turn off oven, crack door, and let rest 5-10 minutes.
- For the garlic aioli, start by mincing 1-2 cloves garlic extremely fine, or use a garlic press.
- Place the garlic in a small bowl and add the kosher salt.
- Use the back of a spoon or a mortar and pestle to create a garlic and salt paste.
- Whisk in mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice, fresh ground pepper, and parsley.