Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Yam fries are yummy, but crispiness elusive

  • Print

I love yam fries -- I'm partial to the version served at Salisbury House -- but I find that when I make them at home, they tend to be tasty, but sort of limp. I was going to put a call out when I ran across a recipe in a new cookbook, Farm-Fresh Recipes from the Missing Goat Farm by Heather Cameron. She described the exact same problem and suggested that the trick involves fries baked in the oven with a coating of cornstarch. I found that her version definitely improved on mine, but still wasn't quite there. I also tried a healthy, oven-baked recipe that uses egg whites from Martha Stewart's Whole Living magazine. It was good but also not quite crispy enough. (Alas, I suspect the solution involves deep-frying.) Does anybody have any suggestions?

Further to french fry talk, after the Recipe Swap column about Kelekis-style fries, JoAnn Tymchak wrote in to say she and her husband sometimes chatted with one of the Kelekis cooks, who said they used beef fat. (And while that might not be ideal from a health standpoint, it would help to explain that terrific crunch.)

Johanne O'Brien, who sent in some great french fry advice last week, also wrote in to say that it's fine to reuse cooking oil, at least to a certain point. She usually uses a batch 10 times. This makes deep-frying a lot more economical, but do follow a few basic rules: Don't reuse oil that's been used for frying protein like chicken. Don't reuse oil if you don't deep-fry that often and end up keeping oil for long periods of time -- it can become rancid. Also, discard any oil that becomes dark, contains sediment, smokes at low temperatures, or smells "off."

This week, Darlene Warner is hoping someone has a recipe for the gouda sticks once made by a bakery on Academy Road. If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to recipeswap@freepress.mb.ca, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.

 

Yam fries

adapted from Farm-Fresh Recipes from the Missing Goat Farm

1 large yam

up to 60 ml (4 tbsp) cornstarch

Olive oil

Salt

 

Peel and cut the yam lengthwise into slices. Cut into fries that are neither too thick nor too skinny. Place the yams in a large bowl filled with water and let soak for 1-2 hours, then drain. Preheat oven to 220 C (425 F). Fill a plastic bag with cornstarch, drop in yams, close up top, and shake yams until they are coated with cornstarch. Pour them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle over some olive oil and toss until they are coated equally with oil. Position the fries so they don't touch each other. (Don't crowd the fries, or they won't crisp.) Use two baking sheets if necessary. Bake each sheet for 15 minutes, flip and bake for 8-10 minutes more. Sprinkle with salt when hot out of the oven.

 

Tester's notes: These definitely had more texture than my flabby baked yam fries, but you do need to be careful that you don't end up with too much starchy coating. You might want to cut back on the cornstarch a bit, and be sure to shake off the excess, maybe even rub the fries a bit with paper towels. Also, make sure to add enough olive oil so that the coating can crisp up.

 

Baked yam fries

adapted from Martha Stewart's Whole Living

Vegetable oil for parchment

2 large yams (about 900 g or 2 lbs) skins on, scrubbed and cut lengthwise into sticks about 1.2 cm (1/2 in) thick

3 large egg whites (a scant 125 ml or 1/2 cup)

7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) dried oregano

5 ml (1 tsp) dried thyme

5 ml (1 tsp) garlic powder

2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

 

Preheat oven to 220 C (425 F) with racks in the upper and middle positions. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and rub with oil.

Put yams in a microwave-safe container, cover, and microwave 2 minutes. Stir gently, cover, and microwave 1 to 2 minutes more until pieces are pliable. Let rest 5 minutes covered; pour onto a platter.

In a large bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy, add seasonings, and whisk to blend. Working in batches, toss the yam pieces in the seasoned egg whites, letting the excess liquid drip back into the bowl. Place in a single layer on prepared baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes, then flip pieces over with a spatula. Rotate baking sheets from front to back and from one rack to the other. Bake until dark golden brown, about 15 more minutes. Serve immediately.

 

Tester's notes: Tasty and very healthy, though I wish they were a bit crispier.

Be careful when taking the yams out of the microwave -- they give off a lot of very hot steam. And be sure to shake off all the excess egg white, or you end up with bits of fried egg, basically, on the parchment paper.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 17, 2013 C5

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

O'Shea says the team is going to stick to the plan after first loss

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A squirrel enjoys the morning sunshine next to the duck pond in Assiniboine Park Wednesday– June 27, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A gosling stares near water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on a report that shows violent crime is decreasing in Winnipeg?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google