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….simple, healthy, and with lots of love.

Perfect Oven Baked Fries

February 27, 2010 By: kristi Category: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack, Vegetables

As soon as these bad boys were done, I stacked them on my plate, added BBQ sauce (Jay added hot sauce), and started shoveling them in my mouth.  Half way through my piggy-fest I realized I didn’t take a picture!  So here you go.  I had to take a picture of Jay’s fries since mine were almost gone.

The reason for my extreme excitement was the fact that I am on a strict diet to get ready for my sister’s April wedding, and I am getting to eat french fries!  No, I’m not going extreme and eating 100 calories a day or eating only cabbage soup.  I’m just allowing myself to consume a certain amount of calories a day based on the metabolic testing I had done at the YMCA.  This testing determined how many calories a day I burn if I were to lay on the couch all day.  It also determined a healthy calorie range for me for to lose the unwanted pounds.  I started on Monday writing every single calorie that I eat and drink and am doing well.  I am refusing to get on the scale for the first few weeks because I don’t want to become either complacent with what I’ve achieved so far or disappointed with how much I still have to lose.

As Oprah has so wisely put it:

Weight isn’t a number.  It’s when you get to the size where you start strutting your stuff.

I want to strut.

So WHY am I making french fries if I’m trying to lose weight?!  Doesn’t that seem hypocritical?

First off, no one can take my french fries from me.  They are far too amazing to take them away so I just made my own and tweaked the recipe to meet my needs.  And they totally met my needs.  I love you, french fries.

Just so you know, organic potatoes seriously last for only a few days.  I JUST bought them this week, and by Friday I knew I had to use them or lose them.  It makes me wonder what is in non-organic potatoes to make them last weeks rather than days.

Okay, we won’t go there.

I have been making french fries for years always being slightly disappointed with the results.  No matter how long I soak them in water and/or sugar, they always end up mushy!  That’s not a french fry, that’s a mashed potato.  And no, I have never used a deep-fryer.  I don’t own a deep-fryer, and if I want deep-fried and greasy french fries (and I get these cravings often), I go to McDonald’s.

Well today I can proudly say that I conquered the squishy french fry!  I now have a recipe that gives me healthy, crispy, and delectable french fries.   I’m so excited.  No more mush, no more potatoes sticking to the baking sheet, no more “bleh” french fries.  Stand back fast food restaurants, I have found your replacement!

Perfect Oven Baked Fries

Source: Slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats and The New Best Recipe

Serves 4

3 russet potatoes (about 24 oz. total), peeled and cut lengthwise into even sized wedges
5 Tbs. vegetable, grapeseed, canola or peanut oil, divided
¾ tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

Preheat the oven to 475˚ F.  Place the potato wedges in a large mixing bowl.  Cover with hot water; soak for 10-30 minutes.  Put 4 tablespoons of the oil onto a heavy, rimmed baking sheet.  Tilt the sheet side to side to evenly coat the pan with oil (a pastry brush can also help with this).  Sprinkle the pan evenly with the salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Drain the potatoes.  Spread the wedges out on layers of paper towels or on clean kitchen towels.  Pat dry with additional towels. Wipe out the now empty bowl so it is dry.  Return the potatoes to the bowl and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil.  Arrange the potato wedges on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.  Cover tightly with foil and bake for 5 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue to bake until the bottoms of the potatoes are spotty golden brown, 15-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 10 minutes.  Using a metal spatula and tongs, flip each potato wedge keeping them in a single layer.  Continue baking until the fries are golden and crisp, 5 -15 minutes.  Rotate the pan as needed to ensure even browning.

When the fries are finished baking, transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain some of the grease.  Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.  Serve warm.