I’ve made hundreds HUNDREDS of recipes on my site over the last 11 (can you believe!?) years. They’re all my loves, most of them, really. Everything from the humble oatmeals to the fussy petit fours. It’s all for the cause – and the cause is getting us all in the kitchen.
Some recipes stick in my taste-brain stronger than others. These Chili Fries are one of them. These fries date back to 2012 which literally feels like yesterday but apparently is a full 7 years ago. We’re ok. We’re ok.
The idea is to season potato wedges with chili spices – directly upon the fry – baked to crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.
These potatoes bring lots of flavor, enough to stick in my flavor brain for the last 7 years. This variation is made with sweet potatoes, a nice balance to all the earthy flavors.
It’s simple – here’s what you’ll need:
• Sweet potatoes – the orange on the inside sort.
• olive oil and worcestershire sauce – non-stick plus lots of flavor.
• a marinade or dry rub of some sort – salty is good.
• spices – chili powder, plus loads more
• green onions for freshness and a bright bite.
Start by peeling the potatoes and slicing them into thick match sticks – the technical term is thicc. We’re looking for thicc boy sized fry wedges so whatever road gets you there is the right road to be on.
If you need a visual on how to cut fries (no shame, I always do), here’s a video that will walk you right on through.
One secret to baked fry making is a soak.
Toss the fry wedges in a bowl of cool water. This will help rinse off a layer of starch keeping the fries from sticking together too much in the oven.
You may notice that the water get a little cloudy – that’s the starch. It’s working.
Ready a paper towel and place a handful onto the paper towels.
Dab each batch of potatoes dry and go in for another handful until all of the potatoes are just so.
(Also because I’m insane, I dry these paper towels out after I use them because they’re perfectly reusable after just drying some potato wedges, ya know?)
Place the potatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle with both olive oil and worcestershire sauce.
Sprinkle the potatoes generously with grill seasoning or dry marinade rub. These often contain a good amount of salt and if that’s the case with yours, we won’t be adding any more salt to the fries.
There’s really only one way to work in that seasoning and it’s with your two good hands. Toss to coat everything as evenly as possible.
We’ve added two layers of flavor to our potato slices but we’ve got one last layer.
Cornstarch is key for a crisp baked potato bite. We’ll add a good dose of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Smoky and earthy spice is exactly what we need to balance the sweetness of the sweet potato.
Dust the seasoned potatoes with the cornstarch mixture.
And get in their with your hands to mix the seasoning over the fries.
Toss until the white of the cornstarch is absorbed and spread the potatoes in a mostly single layer across the pan.
Bake hot hot until the fries are cooked through 20 to 30 minutes, tossing once or twice during baking so the potatoes crisp on most sides.
Sprinkle the hot fries with green onions and serve warm with ketchup!
These fries – I could surely make a meal out of them – but they also pair very well with my Red Beans and Rive Veggie Burger (I’ve got that recipe coming for you soon)! Until then, please consider this recipe re-do. I hope you find these potatoes coming out of your oven soon!
Photos with my friend Jon Melendez.
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon smoky paprika
- 3 sweet potatoes, peeled
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons grill seasoning or dry barbecue rub (these often include salt)
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a small bowl whisk together cornstarch, chili powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, cumin, and paprika. Set aside.
- Peel potatoes with a vegetable peeler. You can leave some skin bits on the potatoes if you want to go for a more rustic fry. Using a sharp knife, slice a 1/4-inch piece off the potato lengthwise. This will give you a stable base to slice on. Rest the potato, cut side down, and slice potato into 1/4 to 1/2-inch planks. Stack planks in piles 2 to 3 planks high, and slice lengthwise into 1/2-inch strips.
- Place potatoes wedges in a large bowl and top with cool water. Swirl the potatoes around the bowl rinsing off any outside starches. Place a few layers of paper towels on a clean counter. In batches, remove a handful of potato wedges from the water bowl and dab dry on the paper towel. Place on the prepared baking pan. Continue until all of the potatoes are dry.
- Toss the potato strips with olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, and grill seasoning or dry barbecue rub. Toss to coat.
- Sprinkle the cornstarch mixture over the potato slices and use tongs or your hands to toss together, making sure that every potato is coated with a bit of cornstarch and seasoning.
- Spread potatoes in a single layer across the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, removing the potatoes from the oven 2 or 3 times during baking to toss them together. Cook until potatoes are cooked through and brought to your desired crispiness. Remove and place onto a platter. Sprinkle with scallions and serve immediately.