Today at LifeAsMom, it's the Favorite Fall Foods edition of Ultimate Recipe Swap. A traditional fall-ish recipe might be something like Butternut Squash and Chicken Soup or even a nice warm Chicken Chili. Today though, I thought that I'd go with a nostalgic favorite -- Oven Fries. No, it doesn't sound like the most Fall-ish of recipes, but since you have to crank the oven up to 475 degrees, it is not necessarily something you want to make on a hot day. Oh wait, I did make them on a hot day this week. Well, they were still good even if my house was a bit toasty. Now for the nostalgia part...
Back in the days when I was a student studying abroad, I had my first experience cooking for myself on a regular basis. I'd always enjoyed cooking but was too busy in high school to do it much. When college came around, I chose to live in the dorms for my first two years and enjoyed not having to cook...it meant more time to study. However, that year in France, I LOVED shopping for groceries and trying out new things in the kitchen. My "flatmate" Janice (she's English) wasn't much of a chef herself but knew how to make a few things. One thing she enjoyed was Oven Fries...or I suppose she called them "chips". Anyway, she had these special seasoning packets that she got from back home that she always used. It was simple. Peel potatoes and cut them into wedges. Toss with oil and the seasoning packet and then bake. They were yummy!
A few months ago, I came across a recipe in an old issue of Cooks Illustrated for "Oven Fries". It was so much better than my lame attempts at making fries on the stovetop. I made them to accompany our hamburgers earlier this week. Enjoy!
3 russet potatoes (about 8 ounces each), peeled
5 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided usage)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Set your oven rack to the lowest position and preheat oven to 475 degrees.
- Cut each peeled potato into eight wedges and then place into a large bowl of hot tap water. Let sit for 10 minutes - the water should become cloudy.
- Using 4 Tablespoons of vegetable oil, coat a 18 x 12 inch heavy-duty baking sheet. Sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper evenly over baking sheet.
- Remove potato wedges from water and dry thoroughly. Wipe out bowl and return wedges to bowl. Toss with remaining 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil. Place on prepared baking sheet in a single layer and cover tightly with aluminium foil.
- Bake covered in oven for 5 minutes to allow the potatoes to steam. Remove foil and bake another 15-20 minutes. Use a metal spatula and tongs to loosen wedges and flip them to cook the other side. Bake another 5 to 15 minutes until the wedges are golden bown.
- Remove wedges to a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Season to taste with salt and pepper.