Growing up, my mother never made French fries at home.
It was partly because we didn’t have a deep fryer and partly because of her deep-seated belief that frying things is “bad for you”. Though she may be right, there’s no denying that oven fries are easier and cheaper to make.
They’re also the perfect Super Bowl snack — few dishes have the universal appeal of the fry. Make a ton before the big game so you can pig out on them while cheering on whichever team you’ve declared arbitrary allegiance to. It’s the American way.
You can also try variations to this simple recipe to add your own personal twist, whether you’re craving something cheesy, saucy or spicy.
• At least one large baking potato (more depending on how many people you’re feeding)
• Olive or vegetable oil
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
2. Wash the potatoes. You can choose to peel them or not.
3. Take a large, sharp kitchen knife. Slice the potatoes in half, then keep slicing lengthwise. You can vary the thickness depending on personal preference.
4. Once you’ve got your sliced raw potatoes, take out your pan and pour some oil in it. You want enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Next, put salt evenly over the bottom of the pan — this helps prevent the fries from sticking.
5. Place the fries in the pan and toss them in the oil and salt so they’re evenly covered on both sides. I recommend using a roasting pan or something with deep sides. If you only have cookie sheets, put a sheet of tinfoil over the top of the fries for the first five minutes so that the insides will cook.
6. After 10 minutes, take the fries out and flip them over. Rotate the pan and put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
7. You’re done and now you have delicious oven fries! Serve hot and enjoy.
• Sprinkle on seasonings to add a flavour kick. Toss the potatoes with spices and oil to coat. Some tried and trusted options include onion and garlic powder, cayenne pepper, chili pepper and paprika.
• Stir a spoonful of garlic powder into mayonnaise and use as dip to add a Belgian flair to your snack.
• For a Canadian classic, sprinkle cheese curds over your fries and drizzle with gravy. It’s hard to go wrong with poutine, especially on cold days like these.
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