Why You Should Be Baking Your French Fries
Deep-fried fries are just.. not that fun. The back of the stove ends up with a film of grease, grease splatters on your forearms, and you spend eight bucks on enough oil. Yet fries themselves are, admittedly, quite fun. When I serve them to O, he lights up like a little kid who was just told he could eat brownies for dinner, and I’m the “cool” girlfriend who doesn’t force him to eat anything green.
What’s a girl to do?
Girl: Two words: oven fries.
In an effort to be both the “cool” girlfriend, and somewhat, slightly healthy, I started researching oven fries that were crisp and perfect, instead of just roasted potato sticks. This recipe comes from America’s Test Kitchen, which is so perfectly up my alley–weird and scientific but not too technical.
While I wouldn’t exactly call this recipe healthy, as it requires quite a bit of oil, it’s far easier than deep frying or, God forbid, double frying fries on any night you’re not already deep frying chicken, to apologize for something you said or prove that you’re still the. best. girlfriend. he’s. ever. had. These oven fries are crisp with a truly great flavor.
How To Make Them
They take about an hour, or a bit longer, so start them before you start the rest of your meal, unless you’re making, I don’t know, homemade pho or something. Don’t skip the soaking–it removes the starch from the potatoes.
The first time I made these, pictured, I cut the potatoes into traditional fry shapes. The second time, we used wedges. The wedges cooked a bit faster, but there was more crispy surface area with the sticks. Your call, just keep in mind the time difference with the sticks, and make sure you stir them a just bit more often, so they don’t stick to the pan.
Ganked and only slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats
- 3 russet potatoes (about 24 oz. total), peeled and cut lengthwise into even sized wedges
- 5 tbsp. vegetable, canola or peanut oil, divided
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- Other herbs and seasonings to taste–we use Cajun seasoning sometimes, thyme sometimes, etc.
- Preheat the oven to 475˚ F. Place the potato wedges in a large mixing bowl. Cover with hot water; soak for 10-30 minutes. Put 4 tablespoons of the oil onto a heavy, rimmed baking sheet. Tilt the sheet side to side to evenly coat the pan with oil (a pastry brush can also help with this). Sprinkle the pan evenly with the salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Drain the potatoes. Spread the wedges out on layers of paper towels or on clean kitchen towels. Pat dry with additional towels. Wipe out the now empty bowl so it is dry. Return the potatoes to the bowl and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Arrange the potato wedges on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 5 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the bottoms of the potatoes are spotty golden brown, 15-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 10 minutes. Using a metal spatula and tongs, flip each potato wedge keeping them in a single layer. Continue baking until the fries are golden and crisp, 5 -15 minutes. Rotate the pan as needed to ensure even browning.
- When the fries are finished baking, transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain some of the grease. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.Serves about four.