So, this is a recipe for what are, essentially, the perfect french fries. These fries are not fried, they are baked. This does not mean they are healthy. If I get to live a thousand years, I’ll never sell french fries to anyone with the claim that they are healthy. Yes, they are baked, but there’s still a fair amount on oil used and let’s not forget the cheese. I was fucking around in the kitchen yesterday and I thought I’d make some baked fries. As I was seasoning them, I thought, “Hey, garlic powder,” because garlic makes everything better. Later, as I pulled them out of the oven, I thought, “Hey, Parmesan cheese,” because cheese makes everything better. You can, of course, use this recipe to make seriously great “normal” french fries by removing all the garlic and cheese, but if you don’t try these just once, you’re in the Taliban. No pressure.
You will need:
Russet Potatoes – Some
Kosher Salt – Some
Garlic Powder – Some
Parmesan Cheese – Some
Oil Of Your Choosing – Some
A quick note about the measurements: Fuck measurements. So. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. While it’s getting hot, peel some russet potatoes. About four large ones, or six smaller ones…or a completely different number if you have enormous baking sheets.
Or a few less if you’re doing You know what, fuck it, just eyeball it and get to peeling. When that’s done, cut the potatoes into quarter-inch sticks. You know, french fry size. Don’t worry about getting them all the same size. Yes, this means they won’t bake evenly and you’ll have to deal with the nightmare of eating super-crispy fries mixed in with perfectly-cooked fries. Sorry.
Throw the uncooked fries into a large mixing bowl and fill the bowl with cold water. Let them soak for about ten minutes and then drain. Repeat, and let soak for about five minutes this time. What you’re doing here is getting as much of the starch out of the potatoes as you can in a short amount of time, which helps them to cook up crispy instead of soggy. A weekend in Hell is better than soggy french fries. You could let them soak for hours if you wanted, but who plans to eat fries that far in advance? Drain the fries, put them on a towel and pat them dry. Pat them again with a paper towel and get them as dry as you can.
Now throw them into a dry mixing bowl and add the oil of your choice. The amount here is going to depend on how many fries you’re cooking and how health conscious you are. You could probably get away with as little as one tablespoon. More than three would probably be kinda stupid. You’re an American, there’s a good chance you’re gonna die of heart disease or diabetes, so just decide how much later in life you’d like that to happen and measure your oil accordingly. If you wind up using a little less, you might want to line your sheet pan with some sort of baking paper so things don’t get sticky later on.
Sprinkle in some kosher salt and give everything a mix with your hands until all the fries are evenly coated. Throw the fries onto a sheet pan and give them a good dusting with garlic powder and a final sprinkle of salt if you think it needs it (not much, we’ll be giving one last sprinkle after we take them out of the oven). Throw them into the oven and let them sit in there for about a half an hour or so. When they’re a light gold color, take the sheet out of the oven for a second and give the fries a light (or heavy…see the heart disease comment above) coating of Parmesan cheese. Throw the sheet back into the oven for another five minutes and let the cheese melt all over your fries.
Pull the sheet back out of the oven and put the fries into yet another dry mixing bowl. Give one last sprinkle of cheese and salt to taste and then toss everything in the bowl until it’s all nice and coated and sexy.