Latin Twist: Baked Sweet Potato Fries


Sweet Potato Fries 1It was probably the first day that I arrived in Peru—before I even knew that I’d end up living there for a year—when I fell in love with two things: pisco sours and sweet potato chips. Well, actually, I fell in love with the whole country.

I left New York about this time of year. It was probably just as grey and chilly as it was earlier this week!  Arrival in Peru, during their sunny warm  days of summer was just the medicine I needed. I’m sure you know what I mean.

Anyway, shortly after arrival, we—my dear friend and hostess Cynthia and I—were whisked off to the Gran Hotel Bolivar in Lima, where I had my very first pisco sour, which was served with camote, sweet potato, chips. (I had never heard of either of those treats.) My love for both has only grown!

So, fast forward to today—or almost today! I am still a big fan of potato, in many forms. These baked sweet potato fries are perfect as a side dish, or as a stand-alone snack, with or without cocktails. The cumin seasoning adds a flavor toque—touch—that I especially enjoy! (And non-cumin fans can also enjoy them without it.)

Some may enjoy these with a salsita, but, well, for me, I enjoy my baked sweet potato fries straight up!  Would love to hear how you like them. In the meantime,  ¡Buen provecho! Enjoy!

Latin Twist: Baked Sweet Potato Fries

This tasty and healthful snack is great on its own...though I enjoy them with a Pisco Sour or a Margarita...or even a glass of my favorite Sauvignon Blanc!


  • 3 large sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds (or more, to taste)
  • Dash cayenne pepper (optional!)
  • Coarse salt to taste
  • Parsley for garnish


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the potatoes, oil, and salt.
  3. Place potatoes on a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, or until done.
  4. Transfer to a serving plate.
  5. Sprinkle with the cumin seeds, some parsley, and serve!


About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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