Brooklyn is cold. Really, really cold. And so this winter finds me using the oven probably more than I ever have in the six years in which I have lived in this apartment. I find myself in the rhythm of turning it on, roasting potatoes and things, baking muffins (these) and cookies. Indeed, what once seemed a laborious task–removing all the pans from their storage inside the oven, taking the time to wait for both the preheat and the actual cooking time– is now closer to habit. And the bonus of course is, at least for a bit, a warmer kitchen.
*After cutting the sweet potatoes, blot them well with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. This helps prevent them from getting too soft.
Sweet Potato Fries:
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into fries around ½- ¾” thick
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp garlic powder
scant 1/8 tsp cayenne
1½ tbsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 475F. Line a large, heavy bottomed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, mix salt, cumin, garlic powder, and cayenne.
- Place sweet potato fries on sheet. Drizzle on olive oil and sprinkle on spices. Toss to coat evenly, then spread out in a single layer.
- Bake in oven for about 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Then raise the oven temperature to broil, and let cook for about 5 more minutes, keeping a close watch, to let fries crisp up a bit more.
Cilantro Lime Cashew Dip:
½ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or for at least 4 hours
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
4 tbsp warm water
1 tbsp olive oil
½ garlic clove
salt and black pepper, to taste
¼ cup cilantro (leaves only)
Place everything except the cilantro in a food processor, and blend until smooth, scraping the sides of the machine as necessary. Taste for seasonings, then pulse in cilantro, until just combined.