One of the hardest things I have found about writing a food blog, is deciding what is worth posting. Not so much what is worth posting, as I would never post anything that tasted horrid or that just didn't cook well, but what about the things I make that are almost non-recipes. Is there a place for them on here? Take today's recipe. Crispy Oven Baked Fries, I almost didn't post it, as I questioned whether anyone really needed me to tell them how to make fries. I took these photos last week and then decided against posting, but now I have changed my mind, based on the fact I do it slightly differently and I can talk about flavoured salt, which I love 🙂
Like many people I have fall back, easy recipes that I make week in week out, 1) because they are straight forward, 2) I know that the boys will eat them and 3) they are made from ingredients I always have in the house. Pasta Carbonara makes an appearance at least once a fortnight and I make fries every week.
Who doesn't love fries. Crispy outside and fluff inside, sprinkled with salt, they are one of the best foods in the world. Everyone loves fries. As a kid we had fries on a Monday with cold cuts. Whilst fish and chips always reminds me of visiting my grandparents. Fries are just awesome!
I sometimes make deep-fried fries and they are good, but I don't like how they go soggy quickly. I have tried the frying 3 times at different temperatures, but frankly by dinner time that is far too much work. And when you add the health implications and the fire risk (we do live in the Rickety wooden Cottage) it just isn't worth it.
Whilst not traditional oven baked fries are delicious. And once you have cut them up, they really require very little work. The way I do it, the hard work is done in advance so by dinnertime you turn on the oven, turn on a timer and forget about them.
I cut my potatoes into fries and then leave them to soak in a big bowl of water. This stops them turning brown and removes some of the starch which helps them crisp up and stay fluffy inside. I don't bother to peel them, the skin adds flavour and nutritional value....that is my story and I am sticking to it!
I use either olive oil or coconut oil. Both work well. Coconut oil solidifies at a much lower temperature so you have to soften it first, that dirties another bowl or pan and some days I look around at my kitchen and think, 'there are enough dirty dishes, I'll use olive oil'. Other days I feel virtuous and happy to dirty another bowl. Those are the kind of crazy small things that go through my brain! I did try smearing the coconut oil on the lined pre-heated baking tray, that worked in softening the oil but I found the chips weren't coated evenly and didn't crisp as well, so I binned it as an idea. But if that works for you, then run with it 😉
Fries go with anything, well almost. They are also great on their own, dipped into your sauce of choice, be that ketchup, mayo or hot sarchia (if you haven't tried that you must!) Last week the boys had them with ketchup whilst I favoured some rosemary salt and a nice pot of garlic mayo. I love flavoured salts, but have you ever looked at the ingredients on a jar of store bought flavoured salt. Take garlic salt: Salt, Garlic, Rice Flour, Anti-caking agent, Canola Oil, Parsley, Natural Garlic Flavour.
Natural garlic flavourings? Isn't that just garlic? Obviously not. Rice flour and anti-caking agent, both designed to stop the salt sticking together and allow it to flow. Do they work for you? Because they don't in our house.
I make my own flavoured salts, I have given them as gifts and I love them.
My garlic salt: Salt, Garlic.
My rosemary salt: Salt, Rosemary.
You get the idea 😉
I really fancied rosemary salt on my fries, but I've run out, I am waiting until school goes back to make up another batch of rosemary salt and a batch of mushroom salt. I have a few other kitchen projects I want to complete as well. I'm looking forward to it but I know not everyone sees a day spent in the kitchen as a treat, so I have given quantities for making these fries into rosemary fries, just like I did last week.
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Crispy Oven Baked Fries
- 4 large potatoes
- ¼ cup olive oil/coconut oil (melted)
- ½ tsp of salt
- 2 tsp fresh rosemary
- Cut the potatoes into slices and then cut into even sized chips.
- Transfer to a large bowl and cover with cold water. Leave to soak for at least 15 minutes but they can be left for a couple of hours.
- When you are ready to cook pre-heat the oven to 220°C/Fan forced 200°C/Gas mark 7.
- Place two baking trays in the oven to heat up.
- Drain the potatoes and dry well on a clean tea towel.
- Dry the bowl and return the potatoes to it.
- Pour over the oil and turn the potatoes with your hands until they are all evenly coated.
- Remove the trays from the oven and line with cooking paper. (I use 'Glad Bake & Cooking Paper)
- Bake in the middle to bottom of the oven for 35-40 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through and crispy and golden on the outside. Depending on your oven you may need to stitch the trays over half way through cooking.
- Whilst the potatoes are cooking, finely chop the rosemary and mix together with the salt. (You can use a pestle and mortar to grind the rosemary and salt together)
- Remove the potatoes from the oven, tip into a bowl and sprinkle with the salt whilst they are still hot.
- Enjoy 🙂