I seem to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what to eat. The main element generally isn’t a problem; I might like a pie, or some pasta, some fish or whatever, or I might have something in the fridge that needs to be eaten before it goes off. No, the problem that I often have is figuring out what to have alongside the main element, something interesting, different and, most importantly, complementary.
A few nights ago I had the reverse problem, there was a lonely sweet potato sitting there needing to be eaten. Now, there are a lot of things I can do with sweet potato, but if I am going to be feeding more than one person then I need more than one. As usual I hit the books for inspiration and found this idea in a few places, a little tinkering with the various interpretations led me to this: the perfect side dish for fish (particularly tuna steaks) or chicken, and you can also treat them like (crunchy) noodles and serve alongside Asian flavours. It also allowed me the rare use of my spiraliser, one of the few ‘gadgets’ I allow in my kitchen.
A few tips: use the largest size of spiraliser blade that you have, otherwise they can become dry and bitter rather than sweet and crunchy. Use 2 tbsp of cornflour per medium-sized potato because they can be quite moist and the cornflour encourages them to go crispy and, perhaps most importantly, leave them for a good quarter of an hour before you eat them because it takes that long for the crunch to fully develop once they are out of the oven.
If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can julienne the potatoes to get the same effect.
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and spiralised
2 tbsp cornflour
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C/ 180C fan/ gas 6, and line a baking sheet with parchment.
Thickly spiralise the sweet potato, or cut into thin strips. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potato with the cornflour then add the oil and toss again until everything is coated.
Spread the sweet potato on the parchment, ensuring that as much as possible it sits in a single layer otherwise it will tend to steam and won’t get as crispy.
Bake for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through to ensure even cooking, and leave to sit for 15 minutes before eating – you can eat them immediately, they just won’t be as crispy as they could be.