Saturday, March 5, 2011

Oven Fries

Two months into my Cook's Illustrated subscription and I am really enjoying page after page of all their hard work.  However, one of the real treasures they sent me for signing up was their 100 Best Recipes magazine.  Of course, I want to try just about every single recipe, but the one that particularly stood out was oven fries.

I'm slightly intimidated by homemade oven fries.  We hardly ever eat fast food but I know fries happen to be near and dear to Bryant because they can be so darn tasty.  So oven fries, although MUCH healthier, just seem like sad imitations of the real thing.  What kind of oven can compete with a deep fat fryer?

Answer: a Cook's Illustrated oven.  These ended up being delicious. And to add even more flavor to the fries (and to let Bryant reminisce about Safeco field's famous garlic fries), I tossed them with minced garlic, a bit of parmesan, chopped parsley and an extra sprinkle of salt before serving them piping hot.  

Better-for-you (Garlic) Oven Fries
Taken from: Cook's Illustrated, 100 Best Recipes
Serves 4
  • 1 1/2 pounds of russet potatoes (2 large or 3 medium)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tsp canola oil, separated
  • salt and pepper 
 Optional add-ins:
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (I went with 4 because we happen to like garlic a LOT) 
  • 2-4 Tbsp. fresh parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • extra kosher or sea salt
  1. Cut each potato lengthwise into 12 evenly sized wedges (I then cut the wedges down the middle to make 24 bite-sized pieces).
  2. Adjust oven rack to lowest position; heat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. While oven is heating, place potato wedges in a large bowl and cover with hot tap water; soak 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, coat 18 by 12 inch heavy duty rimmed baking sheet with 4 tablespoons oil and sprinkle evenly with about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
  4. After 10 minutes, drain potatoes. Spread potatoes out on a triple layer of paper towels and thoroughly pat dry with additional paper towels.
  5. Rinse and wipe out now empty bowl; return potatoes to bowl and toss with remaining 1 teaspoon of oil. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on prepared baking sheet; cover tightly with foil and bake 5 minutes (wipe out the bowl and save for later).
  6. Remove foil and continue to bake until bottoms of potatoes are spotty golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating baking sheet after 10 minutes.
  7. Using metal spatula and tongs, scrape to loosen potatoes from pan, then flip each wedge, keeping potatoes in a single layer. Continue baking until fries are golden and crisp, 5 to 15 minutes longer, rotating pan as needed if fries are browning unevenly.
  8. Transfer fries to a second baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain.  Add potato wedges to the large bowl and add garlic, parmesan and parsley and toss to incorporate. Taste and season with additional salt, if necessary


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