Thursday, March 21, 2013


Use starchy potatoes for this, not waxy. Waxy potatoes don't have enough starch to turn into sugar during roasting and won't get the beautiful brown caramel tones from the Maillard reaction. Soaking the cut potatoes draws out the starch to the surface, which turns into simple sugar at high heat during roasting. The surface sugar browns to the warm caramel colour at high heat. Thank heavens for the Maillard reaction!

Starchy potatoes: Russet (Idaho), Atlantic, Kennebec, Sebago, Spunta, purple potatoes, Bintje
Waxy potatoes: Red potatoes, Yukon Gold or other yellow potatoes, new potatoes, Nicola, Patrone

"Skinny" Fries: Best Oven-Roasted Potatoes!
Servings: 2, if you decide to share

- 2 large russet (Idaho) or other starchy potatoes
- a large pot of cold tap water
- 2-3 tbsp. peanut oil or coconut oil - olive oil will do if you don't have any other oil
- 2 tsp. salt
- dried herbs and seasonings to taste: freshly ground black pepper, smoked paprika, any other paprika, powdered chipotle peppers, thyme, rubbed sage, curry powder, or lots of salt and malt vinegar (just before eating otherwise the fries will become soggy)
- 2 kitchen towels or paper towels

- Garlic Fries: 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 tsp. salt
- Truffle Parmesan Fries: 2 tbsp. finely grated good quality Parmigiano Reggiano, 1 tsp. truffle oil or truffle butter, 1-2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, salt to taste

1. Pre-heat oven to 450 F/230 C.
2. Fill a large pot with cold tap water.
3. Peel (or not) and cut the potatoes into approximately 1/4" sticks (no thicker than the width of penne pasta, not rigatoni).
4. Put the cut potatoes in the water and let them soak for 1-8 hours. Minimum 1 hour, maximum 8 hours, anywhere in between.
5. Strain the potatoes and dry: lay a towel on the countertop, put the strained potatoes on the towel in a single layer, put the other towel on top, gently press to soak up water.
6. Put the potatoes in a bowl and toss with oil.
7. Bake at 450 F/230 C for 20-25 minutes, checking periodically starting at 20 minutes.
8. Take fries out and let them cool for a minute or so.
9. In the meantime, mix the salt and all the seasonings and toss with the fries in a bowl.
10. Serve with... well, just eat them however you want!

- Garlic Fries: mix the minced garlic and 2 tsp. salt, toss with the fries.
- Truffle Parmesan Fries: mix the Parmigiano Reggiano, truffle oil or truffle butter, black pepper, salt, toss with fries.

1.  I use pink Himalayan salt or black salt for everything since those are the only salts I buy and have on hand.

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