Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Oven Baked Fries

The other day I mentioned our favorite way to make oven baked fries and I said I'd post it later. It's later.

Besides, it has been a "Oh, so this is what it feels like to be ground into breakfast sausage" kind of week at work, so I needed a quick post. Yeah, I know it's only Tuesday. Like I said, it's been THAT kind of week.

The thing I like about this method of making fries is it is very flexible to whatever spices/herbs I have on hand or need to match our meal. For example, last night we were having Tuscan Grilled Chicken so I wanted the fries to be "Tuscan-ish".

In the book Ciao! Tuscany, the authors mention several times that Tuscan area cooks like to use a wild herb called nepitella. They admit it's hard to find in the states but that you can sub 2 parts fresh mint leaves to 1 part oregano. So that was the spice/herb we added to our oven baked fries this time.

Oven Baked Fries
Adapted from Joy of Cooking

4 ea russet potatoes, cut into a bit more than 1/4" strips
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp spice/herb mixture (you choose the spices and herbs)
Kosher Salt to taste

To cut your potato into the fries, slice a very thin piece off of one side and set it onto a cutting board for a stable base. Cut the potato lengthwise into slices a little bit thicker than 1/4". Yeah, that could be 3/8", 5/16", or even 9/32". Don't fret over the math. Just cut them into your ideal "french fry size" width slices. Then cut the slices the same size into the fries.

Soak them for 10 minutes in cold water. Thoroughly dry.

Whisk together the oil, spice and herbs. Toss the potatoes in the oil/spice/herb mixture and spread out on a baking sheet.

Put it in a 475f oven for 30-40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes. Remove once all sides are browned. Season with salt.

See? So easy and flexible. They can go with just about anything.

If you are doing BBQ, you could add some of the BBQ rub to the oil. If you're doing Greek, you could do some fine crumbled feta and oregano. If you are cooking a southwestern flank steak, use some cumin, chili powder and cilantro.

Sorry for such a seemingly lame post but if you try fries this way, you'll like them.