Oven Fries Revisited

Only Three Tablespoons of Oil !

I've been making some version of oven fries for over twenty years. I opened a restaurant years ago that set me on this quest. It had no fryer and I used that as an opportunity to make a better fry without the oil. I adapted my method over time to accomodate deep frying but still like the oven fry for home. Last week one of my cook friends, Tim, made a fry that he blanched, froze and deep fried. It was one of the best handmade fries I have had. I thought with some work I could adapt this for home cooking.

This is a giant evolutionary step for my fry making. In March I will be visiting the Simplot French Fry factory in Idaho. They should be able to explain why freezing the potatoes makes them creamy. I  keep some in the freezer so when I have nothing in the house to eat I still have something in the house to eat.

Crispy,creamy, salty oven fries. A tip of the hat to Tim and  Clarence Birdseye 

Do you know there are people who don't know fries come from potatoes? Some people think they come from bags or drive up windows. How sad.

This makes as many fries as you want, just use more spuds. I used 3 medium sized Vermont chef potatoes. That made more than enough two.

You need, a medium sized pot, 2 sheet pans, a steel bowl

  • Washed starchy potatoes, Idaho, Yukon Golds or Chefs work well, cut into 1/2 " fries.
  • sea salt
  • bay leaf
  • black peppercorns
  • Vegetable oil

Put the fries in a pot of cold water with the bay leaf and a few peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook about 3 or 4 minutes until cooked thru. This does not take long and they will break apart if you boil them to hard.

Drain and put in single layer on sheet pan. Freeze. This takes about an hour in my fridge.  Once frozen you can bag them and keep in freezer for another day.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

To cook toss in a steel bowl with just enough oil to lightly cover. Put the fries in a single layer on a sheet pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.

Lets Kick it up a Notch

I use a fancy French technique called "tourne". I did this everyday for years for a poached fish dish. Now I modified it to make fries. I make a smooth arcing slice from the top of the potato down. I shoot for a curved three sided fry. I try and post some photos in the near future