The Meal Planner

One of the most boring parts of meal planning for me can be the side dishes. It's really easy to find delicious looking meats and main course dishes but then pairing it can become rather drab and blah. Rice? ....maybe. Mashed potatoes? ....I guess. Garden salad? ....ugh why not.

I wanted to shake things up (and spice things up) a bit in my kitchen so I made these baked sweet potato wedges with a really lovely and interesting mix of spices. If you are serving them to kids I recommend cutting out the red pepper flakes entirely. I thought my kids had a pretty high spice level tolerance but each bite was met with an "Ahhh! Water! WATEERRRRR!!" Guess not. However, each bite they took without red pepper flakes they loved. But give them anything in fry form with a squirt of ketchup and they are golden.

Recipe from Gourmet, January 2002 via Smitten Kitchen

Serves 4-6

1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 to 1/2 tsp dried hot red pepper flakes (the latter will make them quite spicy, so use according to your preferences)
1 tsp kosher salt
2 lbs medium sweet potatoes
3 tbsp vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 425°F. Coarsely grind coriander, fennel, oregano, and red pepper flakes in an electric coffee/spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Stir together spices and salt.

Cut potatoes lengthwise into 1-inch wedges. Toss wedges with oil and spices in a large roasting pan and roast in middle of oven for 20 minutes. Turn wedges over with a spatula and roast until tender and slightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes more.

Click here for printable version of Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges

I used 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes and my husband and I thought it was perfect. A little heat, but not in your face spicy. I really love the combination of coriander and fennel, it's just perfect with the sweet potatoes. And don't worry if you don't have all the spices in seed form or a spice grinder. Already ground spices work perfectly fine. I had ground coriander and put the fennel seeds on my cutting board and chopped them up a bit, which worked great. My family will definitely see these sweet potato wedges on our meal plans more regularly.

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2 Responses
  1. Matt Kay Says:

    I love the use of fennel and coriander seeds in this. I usually do mine with chiles, salt and pepper. I'll have to kick mine up a bit and try this.

    Thanks for sharing! Love your recipe "book". :D

  2. Food Junkie Says:

    I don't love sweet potatoes myself. I prefer spicy to sweet and so french fried sweet potatoes seem just so horribly wrong. I found this spiced recipe somewhere on the net and it is a great way way to serve sweet potatoes. Use the seeds if you have them as that little crunchy burst of flavour is great but ground is yummy as well. Try it - I bet you'll serve this one more than once.