Thursday, March 21, 2013

Baked Jicama Fries with Creamy Lime Dip

I've heard a lot about jicama (also known as a Mexican potato) but had never tried it, or even seen one. But the last time I was at the grocery store, there was a whole display devoted to the things. I picked one up and inspected its thick waxy peel and tried to smell something, anything, but it wasn't giving up any information. I figured I'd have to buy one if I wanted to see what this curious looking veggie was all about. 

I brought it home, peeled it, and cut it into pieces for everybody to sample. It had a very unique flavor, definitely apple-like, but different. It's kind of like an apple that isn't sweet. Not tart like a Granny Smith, just not sweet. And the texture is like if you crossed an apple with a raw potato, but very crunchy. (Yes, I have eaten raw potatoes, but we'll save that for another time.) I threw them in K's lunch and they were a smashing success. 

After days of eating these as-is, I decided it was time to experiment.  Everyone loves french fries, so I figured I'd play on that. They are great this way, but if you like heat, feel free to toss in a pinch of chili powder.

Baked Jicama Fries with Creamy Lime Dip

What I use:

  • 1 medium jicama
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. seasoned salt

For the dip:

  • 1/4 c. sour cream
  • 1 to 2 tsp. lime juice

How I do it:

Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with foil.

1. Peel the jicama and cut it into 1/4 inch thick sticks.

2. Place the sticks in a bowl. Drizzle the olive oil on and toss to coat.

3.Sprinkle on the garlic powder and seasoned salt; toss until everything is evenly coated.

4. Lay the sticks out on the pan in a single layer. If you can handle it, just toss them haphazardly. As you can see, I cannot handle it, so I lined them up like little soldiers. 

5. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip them all over and bake for 15 minutes on the other side.

When they are all done, they look amazingly like regular french fries.

These little ones in the corner burned but that's ok.

They taste really good on their own, but the dip just takes it to another level. The lime plays so well with the sweetness of the jicama. If you have picky kids, ketchup might make them a little more receptive.

The family says:

  • K loved them both ways, but skipped the sauce because it's dairy.
  • Andrew prefers them straight up, but he's a classic fry fan through-and-through, so it wasn't surprising that he didn't love the baked ones like I did.
  • I like them both ways, but I would definitely take the french fry version over the raw any day.

What is your favorite french fry fake-out?

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