Homemade oven fries are something that I have been making for years – even before I really got into cooking. Almost every Friday night during our sophomore year of college, Brad and I would have frozen pizza and homemade oven fries. We were so busy during the week with school work, so Friday nights were always reserved for putting the books aside and spending time together. As the years went on and my cooking skills advanced, we said goodbye to frozen pizza, but still reserve Friday nights for homemade pizza.
I no longer make oven fries with our pizza (too many carbs!), but we definitely enjoy them with other meals. Soaking them in water beforehand seems to help them crisp up nicely – nothing is worse than limp, soggy fries! I like my fries with just salt and pepper, but feel free to play around with spices – garlic powder, paprika and even chili powder would be great on these fries.
Baked Oven Fries
Yields: 2-4 servings
3 russet potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into even sized wedges
5 tbsp. vegetable, canola or peanut oil, divided
¾ tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
¼ tsp. black pepper, plus more to taste
Preheat the oven to 475˚ F. Place the potato wedges in a large mixing bowl. Cover with hot water and soak for 10-30 minutes. Put 4 tablespoons of the oil onto a heavy, rimmed baking sheet, and use a pastry brush to evenly spread the oil. Sprinkle the pan evenly with the salt and pepper. Set aside.
Drain the potatoes. Spread the wedges out on layers of paper towels or on clean kitchen towels. Pat dry with additional towels. Wipe out the now empty bowl so it is dry. Return the potatoes to the bowl and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Arrange the potato wedges on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.
Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for 5 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the bottoms of the potatoes are spotty golden brown, 15-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 10 minutes. Using a metal spatula and tongs, flip each potato wedge keeping them in a single layer. Continue baking until the fries are golden and crisp, 5 -15 minutes.
When the fries are finished baking, transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain some of the grease. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.