We had already decided to have hamburgers for dinner, one night last week. The plan was to get some sort of interesting cheese and a big salad, and some form of roasted sweet potatoes, which we love. At the last minute I remembered a post I’d seen on Smitten Kitchen a little while back, for sweet potato wedges tossed with an interesting sweet and hot spice mix. The premise was almost identical to my usual approach, which is to toss sweet potato chunks with olive oil, coarse salt, pepper and sometimes paprika or cumin. However, I adore coriander and fennel, so when I saw this recipe I was sold. I pulled up the post from work and read the recipe to J over the phone, and he got the spices ground up and the oven hot (to 425°) before I got home.
Once I was home, I cut the sweet potato (a big orange honker) into rough wedges and tossed them with olive oil and the spice mixture, spread them out on a heavy baking sheet and stuck them in the oven for 20 minutes, until crusty and slightly blackened on the bottom. I turned them and put them back for another 15-20 minutes, while J cooked the burgers. The timing all came out perfectly even.
The burgers were topped with queso iberico cheese, which had a nice firm texture and a buttery flavor with just a bit of tang. The fries were good, crisp and chewy on the outside, aromatic with a hint of heat, and plenty of caramelized bits. We added spoonfuls of Patak’s green chile relish to our plates and scooped it up with both the fries and bites of hamburger.
Spice Mix for Sweet Potato Fries
borrowed from the Smitten Kitchen
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or more, depending on the potency of your pepper)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
Coarsely grind the seeds, oregano and red pepper together in a spice grinder. Mix with the salt.