Spicy sweet potatoes

Preheat oven to 400 F.

I always turn on the oven light, at this point. It reminds me and everyone else in the house that the oven is on. Like, someone can walk by two hours later, see the light, and go, “oh, geez, is the oven still on?” and then turn it off.

I mean. If I forget to turn it off, that is. Which one endeavors to avoid, but mistakes do happen.

Cut two or three sweet potatoes into pieces that are the size you want to eat. I personally like little bite-sized cubes. I mean, I COULD cut them into wedges or long, thin, fries, but they are just going to get soft and break apart anyway. And the “potato wedge” shape is just about the WORST shape for eating. Too big to eat in one bite, too soft to hold and eat like a fry. Blea.

Put all your potato pieces in a large bowl. A bowl twice the size you need for the volume of potatoes. You’re going to mix with oil and spices in this bowl, you want it to be large enough that you don’t schlep paprika-colored oil on your nice clean shirt. Especially if you forgot to change out of your work clothes before dinner.

In a small bowl, mix:

1 unit garlic powder
1 unit onion powder
– or – substitute 2 units of a garlic-type spice blend, like Mrs. Dash, or Roast Chicken Rub, or something
1 unit chili powder
a pinch of cayenne. Don’t actually pinch it with your fingers, that would be rash and would have mucosal membrane consequences.
1 unit ground black pepper
2 units salt
3 units paprika
3 units brown sugar

Now. I say “units” because I do not know how many sweet potatoes you are making. It is ROUGHLY 1 unit = 1/2 teaspoon / each potato you are preparing. Maybe. More or less.

Mix all that dry spices stuff together really well. Add 4 units olive oil. Mix well.

The stuff should be thinner than a paste, but not super-liquid. I would add less oil, mix, and then see where you are at. Drizzle a bit more in if it doesn’t flow.

Pour the spice and oil over the sweet potatoes in the enormous bowl. Mix until the potatoes are all thoroughly coated in oil and spices. See? You really did want the huge bowl.

Put the potatoes on a jelly roll tray. You know, the baking tray with the raised edge all the way around. Not those air-bake trays with no lip. Which are, you know, GREAT for cookies, but less great when oil is going to be running off the edge of the tray and burning on the floor of your oven.

Cook ten minutes.

Take the tray out, move everything around so it doesn’t stick and burn.

Cook five-ten more minutes, depending on how small you cut your sweet potatoes.

Best served hot, but these also taste fantastic three days later when you re-heat them in the microwave at work.

Just, try to not spill them on your new sweater.


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