Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ultimate Oven Fries

Do you ever struggle to find a side dish for dinner?

I certainly do.  When I prepare my menu I am always certain of my main dishes but the side dish is usually left hanging.  

So what do you have for a side dish?  At my house it is usually potatoes, rice, or bread.  We always have a vegetable with our dinners but if that is the only side item my kids (and my husband, he's not as bad as the kids but...) whine and complain. 

We probably have potatoes the most, it must be an Idaho thing, so I try to make them in different ways because I can only handle so much mashed or baked potatoes.  This is an absolute favorite!!  I have finally prevailed on my husband to have baked fries, which was a long time in coming because of his L.O.V.E of fried things!

If it was his way we would deep fry them.  Oh my just thinking about that makes me feel like a heart attack.  On a side note, he is so funny.  He keeps asking for a deep fryer for his birthday, Christmas, and pretty much any holiday.  But since I am the one who buys his present I haven't bought him one.  Mostly because I know if I do he will try to deep fry something every night for dinner.  My arteries just can't handle that, so no deep fryer at our house.

Anyways, I really enjoy fries this way, it is a little involved but totally worth it.  I am a crispy fry girl and don't want them mushy and undercooked in the middle, yuck!  I was given this recipe years and years ago and can't even remember where it came from but we use it all the time and the fries always turn out crispy and delicious!

3 russet potatoes, peeled
5 T. olive oil
Seasoning salt (use whatever your family likes best)

1.  Adjust your oven rack to the lowest position and preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Cut potatoes into even wedges, so that all pieces will cook evenly (I prefer smaller wedges like the above picture).  Place all potato pieces in a large bowl and cover with hot tap water.  Soak for 10 minutes.

2.  Meanwhile, coat a heavy duty (non-stick works best because of it's dark color but any heavy duty pan will work.  Just make sure it is heavy duty because of the intense heat of the oven) 18 x 12 pan--cookie sheet size, with 4 T. of the oil.  Sprinkle your seasoning salt over the pan evenly.  Set aside.

3.  Drain potatoes after 10 minutes of soaking.  Spread out on a triple layer of paper towels and thoroughly pat dry with additional paper towels.  Rinse and wipe out now empty bowl.  Return potatoes to bowl and toss with remaining 1 T. of oil.  Arrange potatoes in single layer on prepared baking sheet.  Cover tightly with tin foil and bake for 5 minutes.  Remove foil and cook 20 more minutes, rotating baking sheet after 10 minutes.  Using metal scraper and tongs, scrape to loosen potatoes from pan, then flip each wedge, keeping potatoes in single layer.  Continue baking until fries are golden brown and crispy, 5 to 15 minutes longer, rotating pan as needed.

4.  Transfer fries to additional paper towels to drain.  Season with additional salt and pepper if wanted and serve while hot.  Enjoy!
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