Whether you call them fries, french fries, Pomme Frite’s or chips, they go with everything. Who in America can imagine a summer without a burger and fries or fish and chips? No matter what name they go by, they’re as much a part of eating in the Western world as is apple or cherry pie.
I think the reason more people don’t make their own fries at home is that they think it will be difficult, messy or dangerous. While the last two can be true if deep frying your potatoes, there is a far simpler method of making fries at home that gives pretty good results without the mess or danger of using hot oil. Make oven fries.
Oven fries use the same principles as frying them. That is; they’re covered in oil which gets hot and subsequently helps to cook your fries with a crispy exterior and a fluffy interior. The difference in texture is subtle when using larger cut fries or wedges and is well worth the effort.
My version is different from many because I do blanch my potatoes before cutting the fries for a closer approximation of the deep fried variety. They’re a little more difficult to make pretty, but the flavor and texture more than outweighs a slightly less than perfect look.
The other advantage is that the fries can (and should) be seasoned before hey are cooked, which allows the flavors to soak into the potato, rather than simply being tossed onto the outside. This adds a ton of options for flavors, from fresh herbs to bitter roasted garlic. Only your imagination limits the possibilities.
Oven fries can also be made on the grill, so don’t limit your experiences to the oven. Toss these bad boys on the grill the next time you’re grilling. It gives them a whole different flavor and a crispier exterior!
- 4-6 potatoes
- 1/8 cup olive or vegetable oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Seasonings as desired
Wash potatoes and pierce skin in several places with a knife or fork. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Place potatoes over high heat and bring water to a boil. cover, remove from heat and allow to sit 10 minutes. Drain and allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Carefully slice potatoes into strips or wedges. (It is easiest to do with a wet knife blade.) Place potatoes in a large mixing bowl Pour oil over potatoes and add seasoning. Turn gently to coat potatoes.
Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are crisp on the outside and fluffy in the center. (Turning is not necessary, but you may flip at the half-way point if desired.)
Share and Enjoy!
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
Every time I make these fries I change the recipe slightly. I’ve used a myriad of seasonings, from onion soup mix to herbs de Provence to ramen flavor packets. (chicken, if you were wondering. The kids loved them) I make a salt and vinegar version for myself, but this requires soaking the blanched potatoes in vinegar for at least an hour.
The key with this recipe is to have fun with your seasonings. They can be adapted to go with any meal.
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