There isn’t a potato that I do not love. I could eat them every day, in fact, and I am not picky as to how they are made. Smashed, mashed, baked, fried, boiled, par-boiled, etc… you get the picture. That being said oven baked French fries are the ultimate way to eat a potato. Don’t you agree?
There are two things that I do not do very well in the kitchen. One is making rice, why can’t I get rice not to stick? And make French fries. Let me correct that last statement; rather the fries come out okay but the mess of heating up oil and frying in batches, is not my thing. Not to mention we are trying to cut back little by little on “unhealthy” foods, one of them being fried. When we were planning a little get together over at our place last week, we decided on a simple meal revolved around grilling, killer burgers and French fries. Knowing I was not up to the task of standing over a hot vat of oil, and knowing that Lenny wouldn’t be either, I sent a tweet out to the world looking for the best oven baked fries.
That being said, I should have known my friend Tracy would come to the rescue with my plea. She shared this rocking (or in her words “epic”) recipe for Italian Fries. The secret ingredient to her recipe besides the use of flavorful herbs is shredded Romano cheese, the claim to fame for making them crispy, and not to mention delicious. Needless to say the fries were a huge hit with our guests, in fact, I think the adults devoured more then the kids.
I could not shake those fries from my mind, and knowing that I want to eat them more often, I decided to tweak the recipe a bit. The only reasoning for this is because we are trying to cut back, hence no frying and trying not to eat as much cheese. Damn getting old! I took Tracy’s basic concept for making her fries, eliminating the cheese and cooking them longer then usual. Verdict, they were just as good as the fries she makes.
Couple tips; for some strange reason the potatoes crisped up better on an old baking sheet, they took about 20 minutes longer on my kind of shiny newish baking sheets. Secondly, use any fresh herbs you fancy. The first time I made them I used a mixture of Italian parsley, fresh thyme and a sprinkle of Piment d’Espelette, and the second time I used Italian parsley, fresh rosemary and a black pepper. I love this recipe so damn much that I am thinking of a zillion new flavors. Stay tuned.
In the mean time, go get your fry on, and whip up some zesty ketchup to go along with it.
Recipe: Oven Baked French Fries
- 3 Idaho russet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into little pieces
- 2 tablespoons fresh herbs, finely minced
- maldon salt
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Peel potatoes. As you peel them place in cold, salted water to keep from turning brown.
- Drain potatoes and pat dry.
- Spread 1 tablespoon of oil on a baking sheet.
- Cut the potatoes into thick fries. Place on baking sheet. Overlapping is fine.
- Using your hands, move the potatoes around the baking sheet to mix with the olive oil.
- Drizzle rest of the olive oil over the top.
- Dot with the butter pieces.
- Sprinkle with the fresh herbs.
- Bake for 30 minutes on middle rack.
- Flip the potatoes over with kitchen tongs.
- Place the baking sheet on the lower rack.
- Bake for another 30 minutes.
- If the potatoes are not quite brown or crisp enough, bake for another 10 minutes.
- Season with salt.
- Pass the ketchup.