One of the smartest things my mom ever taught me about cooking is that when you are making a large meal or a multi-course dinner, one item on your menu should always be “easy” to make. If every single component of your meal is something extravagant you can end up ruining it all by having too many complex things going on in the kitchen. One of my favorite side dishes to make when I know my main course is going to take a little more time and technique is peppered sweet potato coins. These coins are very easy to make, with the most time consuming part of the recipe being peeling the potatoes.
Sweet Potatoes (1 per person)
Olive Oil (I use garlic infused for a little extra flavor)
¼ heaping tsp Black Pepper per two potatoes
The interesting part of this recipe is that it doesn’t have exact measurements. A lot of it depends on personal preference and how many people you are feeding. To start out with you will want to pick out one sweet potato per person you are feeding. Deciding which potatoes to buy is an important process for this recipe. Sweet potatoes come in multiple different shapes and sizes. They are probably one of the most awkwardly shaped vegetables out there. The type of potato that you are going to look for are the long and skinny ones. The short and fat ones do not bake as well in the oven.
You are going to need to peel the potatoes before doing anything else. Sweet potatoes are harder to peel than regular potatoes because of their shape. They are lumpier, which means you have to try a little harder to get all the skin pieces off. After the potatoes are peeled, it is time to cut them into coins. You need to keep each coin only about ¼ of an inch thick. This will help the coins to cook evenly.
After your coins have been cut, put them all in a bowl. Pour olive oil over the top of them and stir it in. There isn’t an exact amount of olive oil to pour in, you will want to start out with a small amount. When you stir it in, every potato should be covered in a thin layer that looks like a glaze. You do not want to soak them or they will taste greasy. If you still have dry spots after your first stir in, then add more, but remember it is best with this recipe to start with less. You can always add more if you need to. You want to avoid having a large puddle of oil in the bottom of the bowl. A large puddle means you probably poured on a little too much.
After your coins have been coated in oil it is time to add the pepper. I use a heaping ¼ tsp when I make this recipe for two potatoes. Adjust this in accordance to how many people you are feeding. Mix in the pepper until every coin is coated with some.
Next, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and spread the coins evenly across it. It is okay if the coins are touching, but you will want to make sure they are in one even layer and not overlapping. If you are making a larger batch, you may need to use more than one pan. Bake the coins for ten minutes and then flip them before baking a final 10 minutes.
Once they are out of the oven you can serve them as is for a healthy approach or to amp up the taste you can drizzle ranch over the top.