I recently learned that potatoes originated in South American and that although they were brought over to Europe in the early 1500’s, it actually took a few hundred years for people to get over their apparent distrust of this strange new food. Fascinating. Fast forward to current times, potatoes, in any form, are considered a staple in many parts of the world.
To be honest, I don’t eat potatoes as much as I used to, but I love them. Baked, smashed, pureed, scalloped, fried, you name it, I’m game. Like my older son, I would gladly eat a fully loaded baked potato with butter and sour cream for dinner, nothing else needed. I have the same affection with French fries. Seriously, who does not love French fries, the dish that goes with everything? But I know, they are not healthful, or at least they are not typically so.
Who actually invented the beloved French fries remains uncertain. A rivalry between France and Belgium has been around a long time. Belgians believe they created fries in the early 1700’s in the region of Wallonie, where fried fish was commonly eaten. The French claim during the French revolution Persian cooks, commonly perched under the bridges along the Seine River, invented the first fried potatoes with the invention of a dish called, “Frites Pont-Neuf ” (named after a famous Parisian bridge).
These is my slightly healthier recipe for baked French fires. Loaded with garlic and herbs, these fries have become a true favorite of my family. These fries are baked (not fried) and if you make them right, crispy. Very crispy actually for an oven made French fry. The trick to making them crispy, a high oven temperature, a well-oiled baking sheet and pan rotation. Trust me, it’s truly that easy.
Baked Garlic Fries
- 3 large russet potatoes, washed well
- 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 /4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- vegetable oil or cooking spray, for baking sheets
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and generously oil with baking spray. Set aside.
- Step 2 Cut the potatoes lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick fries. Dry the fries off as best as possible and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil garlic, salt, pepper and Parmesan and using your hands, toss well to coat.
- Step 3 Arrange the seasoned fries on the two prepared baking sheets doing your best to space out as best as possible so the fries are not touching. Drizzle a little oil on top of the fires. Place the potatoes in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes rotating the pans once during the cooking process.
- Step 4 Remove the pans from the oven and using a metal spatula, gently flip the fries. Place the baking sheets back in the oven placing the top pan on the bottom shelf and the bottom pan on top and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- Step 5 Remove from he oven and allow to cool slightly. Sprinkle the additional Parmesan and chopped parsley on top. Serve with a side of ketchup.
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