Here is an easy way to combine two veggies into one yummy side: baked oven fries!
Now, baked oven fries generally taste so-so and end up somewhat mushy. However, I learned a tip from Cook's Illustrated that completely changes the taste of baked oven fries, and this actually makes for some legit baked oven fries. ;)
After you cut the potatoes, you blanch them. Following the blanching, you drain the potatoes and then toss with oil. The blanching helps with the texture because the hot water extracts the starch and the sugar. Normally, starch and sugar harden in the oven, so the fries develop a hard shell with a mushy interior. By extracting some of the starch and sugar, the potatoes then get more tender during baking. The oil helps the fries kept that perfectly crisp texture.
As for the carrots, carrots get sweeter, tender, and caramelize when they are baked in the oven. These sweet potato and carrot fries are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. These two healthy vegetables contain powerful antioxidants and are rich in vitamins A and C, making these fries make a healthy side dish that you won't feel guilty about!
Yields 4-6 servings
3 medium sweet potatoes, sliced into "baton"/fry shapes
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced into "baton"/fry shapes
6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 475ºF. Put 4 tbsp. of the oil onto a large baking sheet, and tilt the baking sheet to the side so that the oil evenly coats the pan. Set aside the baking sheet.
Place the sliced sweet potatoes into a large bowl, and cover it with boiling hot water. Allow the potatoes to soak for about 25 minutes. After the potatoes finish soaking, drain the water, and then wipe the bowl dry. Spread the potatoes onto a clean dish cloth (or paper towels), and lightly pat the potatoes dry with another clean dish cloth or paper towels.
Add 2 tbsp. of oil to the large bowl, and then add the potatoes and carrots. Toss the potatoes and carrots so that they are lightly coated with oil. Next, arrange the potatoes and carrots onto the baking sheet in an even layer. Cover tightly with foil, and bake for about 5 minutes. Remove the foil, and continue to bake for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots begin to slightly brown. After the potatoes and carrots begin to brown, remove from oven and flip potato and carrot wedges using a spatula and tongs. Continue baking for about another 10 minutes, or until the outside of the fries begin to crisp with slightly browned edges.
After cooking, transfer the fries to paper towels so that the oil can be absorbed, and season with any desired salt and pepper.
Serve and enjoy!
Source: Technique adapted from Cook's Illustrated; Recipe Inspired by Reboot with Joe