One of the (many) places I would really like to visit is New Orleans. It seems to have such a vibrant and lively mix of cultural and culinary identities! When I think of Nola, my mind fills with bright colors, tantalizing smells, and some energetic Jazz, and I know that I just have to get to this place. Preferably during Mardi Gras because DUH.
Also, beignets. What other reason do you need? (Yeah, I’ll take 27 of those, extra powdered sugar, please. What’s that? Are they all for me?
…Do you know who I am?)
Actually, there are several other foods that I’m just itching to try in their hometown–my most favorite dessert, Bananas Foster, was created at a Nola restaurant named Brennan’s. Other foods the city is famous for include: gumbo, bread pudding, muffulettas, po’boys, jambalaya, and Creole pralines.
Ugh, I’m making myself drool.
Has anyone seen the Disney movie The Princess and the Frog? Well, if you haven’t, the important things to know are that it’s set in New Orleans in 1912, and the main character, Tiana, is a gifted cook who wants to open a restaurant. Can I just be her? Post frog-ness, of course. (Props to Ellie for knowing I would obsess over the movie and making me watch it!)
Today’s sweet potato fries are coated with a traditional Cajun blend of spices you probably already have in your cabinet, and MAN are they good.
A perfectly satisfying balance of savory and sweet, these are the most addictive fries I’ve ever tasted. We finished the whole pan in one sitting! (Then scraped off whatever stuck to the pan.)
Bonus: I used a sweet potato from the farmer’s market, and LOOK HOW BIG IT WAS. That’s a normal-sized fork, friends.
I think it looks kind of like a seal. Do you see it?
- 2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean (or one GIANT one, like mine)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1.5 tsp. garlic powder
- 1.5 tsp. paprika
- 1.5 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. dried thyme (or 2 tsp. fresh)
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (or sub 1/4 tsp. cayenne for more of a kick)
- Optional: 1 tbsp. sugar
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
- In a small bowl, toss the spices together until even dispersed.
- Peel the potatoes or leave the skin on, and slice into thin, even match sticks.
- Spread the fries on two baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with spice blend. Toss to coat fries evenly.
- Arrange the fries in a single layer so that they will crisp up. Bake for 15 minutes and then flip fries. Cook 10 to 15 minutes longer until fries reach desired crispness.
- Remove from oven and serve as is or with your favorite dip!