One of my favourite things to do is to draw inspiration from great dishes that I have had in restaurants. Sometimes I attempt a full reproduction and sometimes I just steal an idea or two (like adding steak spice to the rim of my Caesars, a la Lucille’s). This one falls into the latter category. I love the fries at Joe Beef, where the main seasoning comes from garlic butter and parmesan. I’m also a big fan of smoked paprika on my fries (and on a lot of other things). You see where I’m going with this? The last time I was in the mood to make some fries at home inspiration struck and I decided to throw all of these flavours together.
There is clearly no shortage of recipes for oven fries out there, but these ones just turned out too well, so I had to share.
- 2 russet potatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- kosher salt
- garlic powder
- smoked spanish paprika (hot)
- 3 tbsp grated parmesan (reggiano, of course)
- dried parsley flakes
- Cut the potatoes into strips
- Rinse the cut potatoes in cold water twice and then let them soak for 30 minutes
- Dry the potatoes thoroughly with a paper towel
- Place the potatoes in a large bowl and coat in a lot of olive oil (about 2 tbsp)
- Season aggressively with kosher salt, garlic powder and smoked paprika in that order (don’t be shy, these are supposed to be flavourful fries)
- Place potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
- Bake at 390 degrees (I used the convection roast setting on my oven) for about 30 minutes, turning once, until golden
- Toss the hot fries in the oil remaining in the large bowl you used to season them before baking
- Add about 2 tbsp of grated parmesan and toss some more
- Put the fries on a plate and top them with the remaining grated parmesan and some dried parsley
These were the best oven baked fries that I have ever had at home. You’re never going to get the same crisp you get from deep frying, but these things has great texture – a little crispy on the outside and moist and fluffy on the inside (soaking them in water to remove some of the starch is key if you want this result). More importantly, they were absolutely packed with flavour; a little smoky, a little spicy, a little garlicky and plenty salty. If you’re feeling particularly gluttonous, use your fries to sop up the seasoned oil that is left in your bowl. Delicious.