I recently found a love of baking potato chunks in the oven, marinated with a bit of cooking oil, salt and herbs; a trick I learned from a friend of mine. Since then, I've been experimenting the process on other root vegetables, namely yams, sweet potatoes, Japanese yams, and purple yams.
The batch before last, contained purple yams. I had the vague notion that they might also be good as baked fries. Today, I tried it and oh...were they! They're a nice balance between potato fries and yam fries. They're not as sweet and have more of the lumpy texture of potato fries.
Because of their original purple color, this is definitely one of those treats that tastes better than it looks.
If you want to try it out for yourself, here's how to do it:
To give you an idea of how much there is, the plate in the picture is a little larger than a salad plate and kind of bowl-shaped.
-Set oven to preheat at 400 F.
-Take 4 medium sized purple yams and wash and scrub them.
-Peel and chop them into 1/4" or so fries. You'll end up with some smaller ones from the edges. That's ok. Just toss them in the bowl with the rest. You just don't want all of them too small or they'll singe.
-In a large bowl, coat the yam fries with a high temp suitable cooking oil of your choice. I used grape seed oil and gently turned the fries by hand.
-Line an appropriately sized cookie sheet with foil (or if you don't mind cleaning, I suppose you could leave it bare). My yams laid out in a single layer took up a whole 17.25" x 11.5" x 1" sheet.
-Lightly sprinkle with salt if you like.
-Bake for 30 minutes, rotate the cookie sheet 180 degrees and bake for another 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your fries and how crisp you want them.
Note: the rotation may or may not matter. My oven is gas and tends to be hotter in the back, hence why I choose to. I didn't cook as much when we had an electric oven, so I don't remember if that was the same issue or not.