Sweet Potatoes can be bought in grocery stores throughout the year and because of this most people don’t group them with other fall produce like apples, butternut squash and pumpkins. Yet, all of these products taste best when purchased and consumed during their Fall season, because yes, like sports, food has a season too. While there are many recipes that use sweet potatoes, one of the most popular is undoubtedly the sweet potato fry. Joined with Fall marking the start of cold weather moving in and grills needing to be safely stowed away, there is no better recipe to join this tantalizing side dish with than the perfect oven baked burger.


The Oven Baked Burger

Oven Baked Burgers are relatively simple. Let’s say you’re cooking for a crowd and get a pound and a half of meat. That will make between six and eight burgers — for leftovers, your roommates, who knows. The trick is to make sure that this meat remains juicy while it cooks in the oven.


1 ½ pound ground beef

1 teaspoon of salt (separated)

¼ teaspoon of black pepper

  1.       Add salt and pepper. Combining the meat with about ¼ teaspoon of pepper and a ½ teaspoon of salt before separating it into patties will help the meat retain flavor, meanwhile salting the outside of the meat with another half teaspoon of salt before cooking will trap the juices inside while the meat cooks.
  2.       Sear all sides of the patties over high heat on the stove for two to three minutes. You don’t need to oil these pans as the meat has more than enough fat of its own. Then put the patties on an oven safe tray and bake at 400’ for about 10-15 minutes, pricking with a fork to see when the interior reaches your desired color.


Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Oven Baked Sweet Potato fries are healthier than fries that are, well, fried, but they can be just as tasty if cooked the right way. The trick? Baking them at a high enough temperature that the outside becomes crisp while the inside stays soft.


2 large sweet potatoes, cut into wedges (peeled or unpeeled)

3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

¼ teaspoon paprika

  1.       Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  2.       Toss the potato wedges in a bowl and add the extra virgin olive oil tablespoon by tablespoon until each wedge has some. Add salt, pepper and paprika and toss until covered.
  3.       Arrange the wedges in a single layer on the baking sheet, bake for about 20 minutes, turning after seven minutes and then intermittently until done to ensure they don’t stick and all sides are evenly cooked.
  4.       Let sit for a few minutes, plate, serve and enjoy sweet potato fries made from the freshest sweet potatoes of the year!

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-- Executive Editor Emeritus -- English Literature & Film, Television, and Media Arts

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