kook & wijn

Oven fries

Oven fries are more healthy than deep fried fries, but the taste is more or less the same. I have cravings for fries, at least once a week. With this recipe I often eat fries at home without feeling guilty the next day

In our little household potatoes are not often on the menu. Being Dutch, this is quite rare. A traditional Dutch supper usually contains 1/3 veggies, 1/3 meat and 1/3 boiled potatoes. Often it’s served with some natural juices of the meat, or mashed potatoes where you dig in a little hole in the middle, for the meat jus. Sounds not very exciting, right? It is not. Every now and then I can enjoy a good, traditional Dutch supper, but not too often, please! Besides these occasional Dutch suppers, we don’t eat a lot of potatoes at home. Sometimes in an frittata (Italian omelette), or when we make Salade Niçoise, which – in my opinion – must contain at least a few cooked potatoes.

But my favourite way of eating potatoes is still (I think together with lots of other people) as in the consistency of  fries. French thin fries, thick Belgium style fries, curly fries, spicy fries with Cayenne pepper, fries with truffle oil, fries with Parmesan shavings; all delicious! As long they are crisp, tasty, salt enough and have a nice golden brown crust you make me very happy. And my Other Half probably even more.

We do have a special deep frying pan, which is an absolute nightmare to clean. And the smell during the frying process! Arghh! Also, I am always afraid to mess around with the boiling hot oil, and spoil over myself or someone else! Boiling vegetable oil in an old big pan on the fire is also not my favourite, for the same reasons as mentioned above, except the cleaning is a bit easier. In addition to that, deep-fried fries are often fat and greasy. Even when you use clean oil or fat and even when you make sure you’ll fry them on a very high temperature.. They stil aren’t the best diet option there is.

So then there are oven fries! Which I absolutely love. Takes a bit Tender, Love and Care, but then you’ll enjoy your homecut, crisp and tasty oven fries to the max. Less smelly, less greasy, and if you’d ask me as tasty as deep-fried fries! The best side with a fillet, burger, piece of fish, or next to a salad.

Ingredients (for 6-8 people as side dish) 
1 kg large starchy potatoes (for example Yukon Gold or Russet)
canola oil
sea salt (Maldon is great)
optional: paprika, chili, onion, cumin, curry or garlic powder
optional: Parmesan cheese, grated

mayonnaise, tomato sauce or whatever sauce you prefer to eat it with

Method
1. Preheat the oven on 230º Celsius.
Peel the potatoes (or not, I prefer not) and cut them by hand in more or less the same size fries or wedges. Sake sure the thickness is maximum 1,5 cm. Don’t wash the the white flesh, you will remove the starch (which you need for the crust). If you keep the peel on of cours you can wash/clean them upfront.
2. Make sure the potatoes are dry! Every access moist isn’t great for the oil and the end result of you oven fries. Dry them if necessary with kitchen paper.
3. Place the fries in a bowl and drizzle with vegetable oil. Not too much that they are swimming in oil, not too little. They must all contain a small layer of oil. Toss the fries with your hands or use wooden spoons. Add generous amount of sea salt (and optional paprika, chili, onion, cumin, curry or garlic powder) and toss again.
4. Divide the fries on a baking tray and place in oven for about 30-40 minutes (depending on oven and your personal taste). Give them a shake and a stir when they are halfway. Once they have a golden brown, crisp crust, they are done. You can add the last minutes some Parmesan shavings, if you like. (I like them more without)
5. If necessary, leave on kitchen paper for any access oil, but most probably this is not the case and you can serve the fries direct. Hot from the oven! Enjoy!

a few more tricks to make great oven fries:
– Make sure they have enough space. Fries doesn’t like it to be too close to each other
– Bake them a metal baking tray. Believe me: in a glass bowl or ceramic oven dish; it doesn’t really work
– Hot oven does the trick. No silly 180 degrees Celsius, but a proper 230 degrees Celsius will do
– Do you love fries but try to avoid too much carbohydrates? Swop normal potatoes for sweet potatoes!

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