French fries are perhaps the best thing to happen to a potato, but something that many people have an on-again, off-again relationship with. Yes, they are fatty, but my goodness are they delicious. What would you say though if we told you that you could have the best of both worlds by baking your fries? In fact, the best kind of fries are homemade french fries.
"But when they're baked they never seem to turn out the same," you might complain. That is only because you haven't discovered the perfect recipe for exquisite golden brown fries in your own kitchen. So we are here to introduce you to the ultimate french fry recipe. Quick, clean, and crispy, these fries are sure to leave your mouth smiling - inside and out. Grab your baking sheet, vegetable oil, sea salt, and a large bowl to get started on these homemade fries.
What kind of potatoes do you need?
According to many sources, including the Chicago Tribune who did an expose on fries, old, less moisture-intensive potatoes make the best fries. That means when selecting your potatoes to make fries, pick varieties like russet or Idaho. If you have any that have been around for awhile aging on the shelf, even better.
The second most important thing that you must remember when prepping your fries is that you need to cut them long and thin after you peel the potatoes. Doing this will cause much more surface area to be exposed to the heating elements of your oven and leave you with a much crispier outside, which is after all the goal.
Here's our best potato peel hack. Take cooked potatoes and immediately place in cold water. An ice water bath works best, but running the potatoes under cold water will do, too. Simply "rip" the potato peel off the russet potatoes, and there you go!
How to prepare your potatoes
In order to achieve the goal of extra-crispiness, french fries need to go through a two-step "frying" process. If you aren't ready to fry potatoes, though, how do you achieve this? Easy, you use modern technology and nuke them in the microwave. This essentially blanches them and releases their extra moisture to prepare them for their second "frying" in the oven.
Once you've blanched them, it's time to coat them and give them some of that fast food flavor. The basic coating is olive oil, cornstarch, salt, and pepper. However, to jazz up your fries, feel free to add any variety of spices you can imagine. Naturally, a little sautéed garlic mixed into your rub wouldn't go amiss. Or perhaps a little rosemary.
By skipping the deep fryer, you're also skipping the hot oil (always use peanut oil when deep frying because it has a high smoke point) to make the perfect french fries. Comfort food doesn't have to mean unhealthy.
Finish your fries
Now that you have your cut potatoes prepped and seasoned, it's time to pop them in the oven at 425 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. The high temperature encourages the fries to crisp up, just like if you fried french fries. A lower temperature wouldn't produce the same kind of crispy fries. And that is it! You don't have to fry them in small batches, all you have to do is spread them over your baking sheet.