The primary thing that makes something “junk food” is the degree of separation from foodstuffs in their whole states. If you love fries, eat fries–just make them yourself, and don’t feel bad about eating them. Most commercially-produced fries are multiple steps away from the whole potato, and usually fried in oils that you might want to avoid. Home fries are really easy, and I adore sweet potato fries. Add in this easy, homemade ketchup, and you have a great dish that is guilt-free.
The ketchup uses a roasted red pepper base instead of tomatoes, which gives it a bit of a smokey flavor and makes it less aggressively sweet than most ketchup. If you prefer your ketchup fairly sweet, you can add an extra tablespoon or two of honey. Taste the mixture right out of the blender and adjust to taste. Similarly, you can adjust the chipotle for a hotter or milder flavor. Start with smaller amounts and work up as desired.
- Sweet Potato Fries:
- 2-3 medium sweet potatoes
- Olive oil (about a tablespoon per potato)
- Salt, to taste
- Crushed, dried rosemary, to taste
- Roasted Red Pepper Ketchup:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, peeled and diced (about a cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 cups chopped, roasted red peppers
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (optional but nice)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash the sweet potatoes and then cut them into desired widths for fries. In a large bowl, toss the cut sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt, and rosemary. Arrange them in a single layer on one or two baking sheets that have been lightly oiled. Bake for about 40 minutes, flipping them once, or until they are the desired degree of browned that you prefer.
- For the ketchup: heat the olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion has just softened. Put the cooked onion in your blender, along with the rest of the ketchup ingredients. Blend until smooth. You can use the sauce as-is at this point and it will be great, but I like to then pour it into a medium saucepan and let it simmer for ten minutes, just to blend the flavors. This is good served hot or cold.
The roasted red pepper base makes the ketchup more versatile than your standard tomato, and I like it served warm over pan-fried or grilled fish. The recipe makes about 2 1/2 cups of ketchup, and it will store well in the fridge for at least a week. If you don’t think you will use it that quickly, the recipe can be cut in half.
Thanks for reading,