While browsing through the latest issue of Cooking Light on my flight back home on Monday, I came across an article dedicated to making oven fries. It was less of a recipe and more of a tutorial on getting them perfect. Sure, I have made oven fries plenty of times in the past. They always turned out just ok. According to the article, the trick to making absolutely wonderfully crispy and light oven fries lies in the preparation. Apparently, soaking the cut potatoes in plain old water for 30 minutes and then drying them off well before baking is the secret to GREAT oven fries! Who knew?
Actually, the secret to great oven fries is three fold. First, allowing the fries to have a 30 minutes bath, gives time for some of the starch and water to leach out of the potato, leaving you with a potato that crisps up easier, but remains light and fluffy on the inside when baked.
Secondly, it is important to be sure to dry off the soaked potatoes well before adding them to the oiled baking sheet. This will ensure that they bake and not steam in any water left on the surface. I used a big wad of paper towels to thoroughly dry them.
Last, but not least, do not overcrowd them onto the baking sheet. Place them single layer with space between each fry.
Although the article instructs you to bake the fries at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes, I found I got great results with a much hotter oven, 450 degrees F, and left mine in for about 35 minutes...so they got nice and brown...because as Ann Burrell says....brown food is GOOOOOD! ( ovens vary so adjust the cooking time according to your oven...just keep an eye on them) I also opted to use the oil from my misto, to help keep the amount of oil in the recipe to a minimum.
I assure you, if you follow these rules, you will have some amazing oven fries...and nobody will miss all the fat in the deep fried version! I only wish I would have thought about photographing one that had been cut in half...so you could see inside!
The Best Oven Fries....Ever!
adapted from Cooking Light
Servings - 4 Serving Size - 1/4 of recipe Points Plus per Serving - 4 Points+
Calories - 164, Total Fat - 0.2g, Carb. - 37.2g, Protein - 4.3g, Fiber - 4.7g
4 medium sized ( 2 1/4" - 3 1/4" dia.) russet potatoes, scrubbed well
Cooking spray or olive oil spray in misto
salt and pepper, to liking
1. Slice potatoes in half long ways, and then into 1/4" to 1/8" slices, with potato laying on cut, flat side. Put in large bowl and fill with water to cover potatoes. Set aside for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray baking sheet(s) with cooking spray or misto filled with olive oil. Drain potatoes and place on paper towels. Dry thoroughly. Place dried potato slices in single layer so there is area between each one on prepared baking sheet(s). DO NOT OVERCROWD! Spray tops of fries liberally with cooking spray or misto.
3. Bake in oven for 30 - 40 minutes, turning halfway through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Russet potatoes were on sale last week for a great price of $1.99 for 10#! So with so many potatoes in my possession, I needed a way to use them up. The boys all loved these oven fries. I really cannot tell you what a difference soaking them for the 30 minutes made for the final product. I will never make oven fries again without this very important step!!
These oven fries went perfectly with our dinner of steak on the grill ( first of the season) and steamed broccoli.
Have you fired up your grill yet this season? What is your favorite thing made on the grill? For me...I love ANYTHING GRILLED!!!