Who’s ready for autumn?? (My hand is flying high…)
Here in Philippines it’s not like the seasons never change… but all of them involve some variation of warm, humid weather, with either a lot of rain, or no rain. It is the tropics after all! But what we don’t get is that crisp, cool, leaf-scrunching weather that makes you want to put on a sweater and curl up with a bowl of pumpkin soup, a cozy flannel blanket, and a dog-earred copy of Sense & Sensibility.
So let’s improvise!
I made these spicy camote fries the other day because I wanted something warm, comforting, and orange of all things! Cravings of the season! “Camote” is the Philippine native sweet potato, low on the glycemic index and high in fiber, beta-carotene, & potassium. They’re very similar to US, Canadian, & Australian orange sweet potatoes, only not quite as moist. But this quality makes them perfect for baking and roasting, especially with warm, earthy spices like cumin, curry, chili powder, & cinnamon. They bake up crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, much like a traditional fluffy white potato. If you use regular sweet potatoes, don’t worry, they’ll be wonderful too… all caramelised and delicious… you can’t go wrong either way.
The only thing you could potentially do wrong would be to not make this fresh pineapple salsa to go with your fries… “Now that would be a crying shame!” as my Pa would put it. These two just belong together as much as regular fries and ketchup. Only this combo is fancy…
And downright addictive!
So go ahead and make them, it’ll only take you half an hour start to finish. The potatoes cook in about 20 minutes, giving you plenty of time to chop up your pineapple for the salsa. And if you have leftovers in that area, not to worry… I have yet to find anything it’s not good on. Happy snacking, friends!
Spicy Camote Fries with Fresh Pineapple Salsa
For the camote fries:
- 1 kg (about 2 lbs) orange camote (can sub sweet potatotes)
- ¼ t. each:
- curry powder
- chili powder
- black pepper
- 2 T. olive oil
For the pineapple salsa:
- 1 ½ cups fresh pineapple, diced
- ¾ cup red bell pepper, diced
- ¾ cup tomatoes, diced
- 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup red onion, minced
- 2 T. calamansi juice (can sub lime juice)
- 1/8 t. salt
- black pepper to taste
To make the camote fries:
- Heat oven to 220 C (450 F.) Peel camote and slice into long sticks.
- Toss with olive oil and spices. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes, turning once, until browned on the outside and soft inside.
- Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving. Makes about 6 servings.
To make the pineapple salsa:
- Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Makes about 3 1/2 cups salsa.