Every Aussie I come across always replies with "a wah?", whenever I mention the word Kumara. But come on, if our countries are so close to each other and there are a gazillion Kiwis that live in Australia, you MUST know by now what a Kumara is. No? Okay then, it's Sweet Potato. There you go. But I'm not changing my ways and calling it Sweet Potato. In fact, while I'm at it, I'm going to keep calling it Kumara and splash in a bit more culture by inserting a bit of Greek Flair.
I never thought to eat Kumara with Feta, but why not? I love salty sweet. I'm not the first to sprinkle anything with feta but I got inspiration when I dined in at Mr George Calombaris' (from Australia's Masterchef fame) Jimmy Grants at the Emporium in Melbourne not long ago and saw he had Chips (that's potato fries to the Americans, and HOT potato chips to the English!) with Feta, Garlic oil and Oregano on his menu. I didn't purchase that little number but wish I had. We don't have Jimmy Grants in Sydney so I thought to try it out on my own but with a salty sweet flavouring to it. So here we are with these Baked Kumara Fries that has a Greek Flare.
Click on to see the recipe and the steps I took to feed me and hubaloo Jase :)
- 2 rather large Kumara (aka Sweet Potato), about 600-700gm, peeled and sliced into 1cm thick long fries (any length you like I made mine 8cm or less, also remember the thinner they are, the faster they will cook)
- Rice Bran Oil for a liberal coating
- Freshly ground Salt & Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Sweet Paprika (or Cayenne Pepper if you are adventurous or 1 tsp of Crushed Cumin seeds if you don't like either of those spices)
- 1-2 TBSP of Cornflour
- 40gm Greek Feta
- Fresh Oregano Leaves
- 5 tsp Garlic Oil or 1 crushed garlic clove, warmed through in 5-6 tablespoons of regular olive oil and use 5 teaspoons of that
- Line a baking tray with waxed baking paper and preheat your oven to 200 degrees celcius.
- Place your sliced Kumara into a large bowl and toss with Rice Bran Oil until fully coated. Then sprinkle over your freshly ground Salt & Pepper and your choice of either Sweet Paprika or Cayenne Pepper or Cumin seeds. Sprinkle over the Cornflour and ensure that the fries are evenly coated.
- Spread them out on your prepared baking tray, ensuring they aren't over crowded and place in the oven for 20 minutes, or until slightly golden, tarnished on the edges and crispy. Ensure that you turn them half way through, or at least check on them at the 15 minute mark. If your Kumara fries are sliced thinner, maybe check on them more frequently starting at the 6 minute mark, otherwise they will burn for sure!
- While the fries cook, crumble your feta into a bowl, toss with a small handful of oregano leaves, drizzle in the garlic oil, mix through then set aside.
- Once the fries are cooked, place them on a piece of paper towel or newsprint for any oil drainage, plop them onto your serving plate/bowl and sprinkle over your feta mix.
- Doneskies, now eat while they are HOT!
Of course this a healthy preference over deep frying, and you'll probably get a much better crunch out of deep frying instead. If you prefer to deep fry these, just coat the fries in all the dry ingredients, with a few extra tablespoons of cornflour, and omit the coating of Rice Bran Oil. They should cook pretty much instantly in the deep fryer, much faster than potatoes and browning up a lot faster, so watch them closely.