Oven-Baked French Fries

 

And speaking of potatoes…  It doesn’t seem too big a leap to go from potato salad to French fries, especially if they’re as easy and scrumptious as these babies.  We do love us some fries around here, and as much as we love them fried (who doesn’t?), we’re just a bit more comfortable calorically with baking them.  To be honest, we really don’t miss the fryer at all cuz these come out crispy on the outside, tender on the inside and loaded with amazing flavor, owing to the addition of our very own Circle B Kitchen Seasoning Salt.  Oh, and grated Parmesan cheese.  But it’s the seasoning salt that makes them special, at least that’s what I’m going with. 

If you haven’t made up your very own batch of seasoning salt yet, you can grab the recipe here, along with a whole bunch of ways to use it.  The creation of this seasoning blend is one of my favorite culinary inspirations, and I can’t even begin to list all the ways I use this stuff…  It’s so great for seasoning chicken, meatballs, dips, eggs, sauces, and yes, fries. 

So back to the French fries… historically, there seem to be a few things that have a tendency to doom the outcome of homemade baked French fries.  One is cutting the potatoes too small or too large, another is the problem of too much or too little oil, not getting them crisped up enough, and then there’s the blandness factor.  We’ve got you covered on every one of those issues.

First of all, we’ve sort of come to the conclusion that ½ inch is about the perfect width for a French fry.  So that’s how we cut them.  If you like yours thicker or thinner, just adjust the baking time accordingly.  And yes, we are leaving the skins ON!  There’s great flavor and nutrition in those skins.  They’re our friends, so they stay. 

Secondly, I’ll admit to making some pretty greasy French fries in the past, which defeats the whole point of baking them instead of frying them, right?  So I’m of a mind to use as little oil as possible.  In this recipe, we’re also adding a little grated Parmesan cheese, which when heated, exudes a little oil, so that’s why we try and keep the oil to a minimum.  If you leave out the parmesan cheese, just add a bit more olive oil. 

These fries will cook through pretty quickly, which is why we’re setting the oven to 450.  That way they will brown and crisp in about the same amount of time as they cook through.  And finally, I think we’ve already addressed the flavor component.  Our Seasoning Salt makes these some mighty tasty fries indeed. 

I guess that about covers our French Fry dissertation.   Go forth and bake some potatoes in French fry form and eat them with gusto and maybe a burger.  Here’s the recipe…

Circle B Kitchen Oven-Baked French Fries

Click here for a printable recipe

Serves 3-4 as a side dish 

These are our go-to French fries here in the Circle B Kitchen.  They’re so easy to make and so good that you might just be willing to ditch the bag of frozen ones in the freezer.  They come out crispy on the outside, but tender on the inside, and amazingly flavorful, owing to the addition of parmesan cheese and our very own Circle B Kitchen House Seasoning Salt.  Now, if you haven’t yet made up a batch of our seasoning salt, you can easily get the recipe for it here.  It’s awesome stuff and this is a great application for it.  Otherwise, just use your favorite seasoning salt or just some salt and pepper.  But honestly, we think that it’s our seasoning salt that sets these fries apart from the rest.  As for cooking time, it so depends on your oven, but these might be ready in 40 minutes, or they may take a little longer.  This last time I let them cook for almost an hour and we loved how crispy they got. Your call.

NOTE:  In response to Stephanie's query in the comment section, I set out to test whether these might be freezer-worthy.  The answer is a resounding yes!  I made a batch, let them cool completely and then froze in a single layer on a sheet pan.  After they were well frozen, I popped them into a freezer bag and a couple of days later, I baked them up at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes.  They were perfect.  So go ahead and make extra for the freezer!

2 pounds Russet potatoes (about 3 large potatoes), scrubbed and dried
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (you could even cut this down to 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 ½ tablespoons Circle B Kitchen seasoning salt 
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. (I've been baking these at 500 and love how crisp they get).  Coat a large, rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. 

Slice the potatoes into ½-inch slices and then again into ½-inch thick French fries. 

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes and olive oil and toss to coat.  Sprinkle in the seasoning salt and cayenne pepper, if using, and gently toss until thoroughly coated.

Lay the potatoes in a single layer onto the baking sheet and sprinkle with the grated parmesan cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until golden brown, flipping them with a spatula or tongs about halfway through to prevent sticking.   Serve hot. 

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