French Fries

18 Apr


French fries are, easily, one of my top-ten favorite foods. It is possible that they would be one of my top-ten favorite things in the world, but I have not drafted such a list. With the skin on – even better. I ate the entire batch I just made, and am making myself hungry again thinking about it.

As a general rule, however, I do not like eating fried food. Of course I have to eat fried food, in order to eat french fries, right? You see my dilemma. I have seen various recipes for “oven-fried fries” but either something in the recipe was not quite right, or I was not patient enough, or both.

When this batch came out of the oven, I actually gasped. They looked perfect – and they tasted as great as they looked.


– 2 small or medium russet potatoes (recommend one potato per person, but if you use more than two potatoes, it may be hard to get them all in a single layer when baking)
– 3 T extra virgin olive oil
– 1/4 t paprika (big pinch)
– 1/4 t dark chile powder (big pinch)
– 1/2 t kosher salt

How do I make it?

  • Preheat your oven to 450 – on a “convection” setting, if possible. Place a rack in the top third of the oven, and put a rimmed cookie sheet on the rack to preheat.
  • While the oven is preheating, slice the potatoes into 1/4″ sticks. Do this by slicing off a piece from a long side of each potato, so it lays flat on the cutting board (save and use these as well – the skin is the best part!). Rotate, and do the same three more times, so each potato has four “sides.” Slice the squared-off potato into 1/4″ planks, and then slice the planks again to make the 1/4″ sticks.
  • Place the sticks in a bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with the paprika and chile powder – don’t overdo it, just a hint is all you want. Toss the sticks to coat in oil and the spices.


  • Using an oven mitt (you will thank me later for the reminder!), take the cookie sheet out of the fiercely hot oven, and lay the potato sticks on the cookie sheet in a single layer.
  • Bake the potatoes for about 15 minutes, until they start to brown. Flip once, using a metal spatula, and cook for another 10-15 minutes, until they are perfectly browned.
  • Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and let the fries rest for a bit on the hot cookie sheet, to continue to crisp.
  • Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt.
  • Try not to eat the whole batch at once.

Original link: I actually had the clipping from the Nov/Dec 2010 Food Network Magazine, but behold, the wonders of the internets:


2 Responses to “French Fries”

  1. foods for the soul April 18, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

    There are only about three fried foods I eat: french fries (my favorites are the beer-battered ones!), donuts, and tortilla chips completely covered in salsa (the healthy tomatoes help cancel out the frying). I love the paprika in your recipe, and your baked fries look just as good as the deep-fried ones!

  2. my utensil crock April 19, 2013 at 12:28 am #


    I also bake my tortilla chips – maybe I will post about that tomorrow… You’re right though, tomatoes definitely balance out the deep-fry (and if you break doughnuts in half, the calories escape).

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