I’m not addicted to French fries, but if one comes close I will reach. Okay, grab. I am addicted.
Making French fries at home is, for most of us, impossibly intimidating. It’s not the French part. It’s the frying. Deep frying at home is a more complicated task than wallpapering a bathroom. And even more dangerous.
Few of us have deep fryers, so improvising with a pot is the first step on the path to the fires of hell. None of us like the oil, especially disposing of the used stuff. The smell, the smoke, the mess. We eat our fries at restaurants and fast food outlets.
There is one avenue of hope. You can bake the fries. Yes, bake. At home. In the oven. No muss, no fuss. And great flavor. I am not fond of fries that are cooked into potato sticks that have the consistency of twigs. I like my fries thick and chewy. That’s what happens naturally in an oven.
This recipe, from Bobby Flay’s Burgers, Fries, & Shakes, offers you some serious flavor options. You can have conventionally salted versions or spice them up with seasonings. I used Flay’s Southwestern Seasoning that creates a very, very, very spicy fry. Be a little careful on that first chew, and have a beer or soda on the table. You can’t beat this heat. Just enjoy and drench the fire.
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5 large Yukon Gold potatoes, well scrubbed
¼ cup canola oil
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 tablespoons seasoning mix [recipe follows for Southwestern Seasoning
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Place a large rimmed baking sheet in the oven to heat for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, slide each potato lengthwise into 8 slices. Put the potato slices in a large blow, add the oil, salt, and seasoning mix, if using, and toss to coat the potatoes evenly.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and add the potatoes in an even layer. Bake the potatoes, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 35 minutes. Serve hot.
Yield: ¼ cup, enough for 2 batches of fries
1 ½ tablespoons ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Whisk the ingredients together and store in a sealed container.
Source: Bobby Flay’s Burgers, Fries, & Shakes