I have been in search of the perfect oven fry for quite some time now. Because I really adore crispy, oil fried french fries, I have a hard time feeling satisfied with their limp cousin. And since I see very little chance of ever getting a mini fry daddy for my kitchen, I’ve been on the constant search for preparing a satisfying baked version. I’ve tried boiling them first, placing them on a baking rack, and using an oiled preheated pan, and each time the results left me disappointed.
So when I stumbled upon a new technique that involved “giving the spuds a hot bath,” I was eager to give it a try. I discovered Katie’s blog while thumbing through my recent feed on Foodgawker in the wee hours of the morning. As soon as I saw her picture perfect fries, I was excited for lunch. I had a good feeling the result of the “bathing” technique would be the perfectly crisp shoestring I had been waiting so long for.
The idea to is to quickly raise the temperature of the raw fries and also “wash” off the starch that usually sticks to the roasting pan. The hot sheet sears the sides of the fries to make a perfectly golden crust while keeping the insides tender and moist. My added touch of garlic granules added bite while the herbs added a savory note that pulls you back in for “just one more fry.” I guarantee it’s impossible to eat just one.
- 2 large russet potatoes, about 1½ lbs
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- freshly cracked pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- pecorino romano for grating
- Place rack in the bottom quarter of the oven.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Put a large pot of water over high heat. Bring to a boil.
- Line a large baking sheet with paper towels.
- Slice potatoes into ½ inch matchsticks, leaving skins on. Add to a large a bowl. Once the water is boiling, pour over potato matchsticks and let sit for 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to paper towel lined baking sheet. Use more paper towels to blot the fries.
- Dry the large bowl and add olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano and basil. Whisk together. Add potato matchsticks to bowl and toss with clean hands until evenly coated in the herb mixture. Spray baking sheet with olive oil or cooking spray. Evenly spread fries over pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes, remove and flip with a spatula. Continue cooking for 15-18 minutes or until fries are crispy and browned. Garnish with grated pecorino if desired. Serve immediately.