A work in progress

Perfect Crispy Sweet Potatoes

I made these home fries for my sister-in-law over the weekend and she asked me to type the recipe up for her — so I figured it’d be a good idea to share it with the rest of you. Super simple and flavorful. Cook them up and let me know what you think.


  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 sprig/pinch of thyme
  • black pepper


  1. Peel the sweet potato and dice it into 1/2” pieces.
  2. Smash the garlic cloves with your knife and remove the skin
  3. Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium high heat until it shimmers.
  4. Add the diced sweet potato and smashed garlic to the pan, stirring to coat in oil.
  5. Add salt and continue stirring every few minutes.
  6. Once the sweet potatoes start getting crispy on most sides, add the thyme and cook for an additional minute.
  7. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel and add additional salt/pepper to taste.
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The Food Lab: Real Texas Chile Con Carne

This past Christmas, my wife’s parents bought me The Food Lab by J. Kenji López-Alt. It’s definitely one of the best cookbooks I’ve ever owned. Kenji sets up a great foundation for every topic, and encourages experimentation to achieve better results.

The first full recipe I attempted was the Real Texas Chile Con Carne. Using whole dried chiles for the base made for an impossibly rich and smokey flavor. I shared it with friends this past February and can’t wait to make it again. From the recipe:

Real Texas chile con carne is made with beef, chilies, and not a whole lot else. This is the real deal. A bowl of hot Texas red with chunky, fall-apart tender beef chuck and fresh dried chilies.

Why this recipe works:

  • Using a blend of whole dried chilies delivers maximum flavor to the stew.
  • We sear whole chunks of beef chuck before cutting them into chunks. This ensures that the beef sears instead of steams, delivering better browning and more flavor in a minimal amount of time.

Note: This makes for a moderately hot to hot chili. You can vary the heat by adding or removing the hot chilies and the canned chipotles.

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