Finally, here's a recipe for oven-baked French fries that taste just as good as the deep-fried variety. The secret is a simple two-step process -- the potatoes are first steamed, then baked at 500 degrees, which ensures both a moist and fluffy interior, and perfectly crisp crust. No one will guess how healthy they are, or how easy they are to whip up. Tossed with minced parsley and garlic, you'll think you're dining at a bistro in Paris. Of course, set aside some plain ones for the kids if necessary.
To cut a potato into French fries, simply make long slices every half inch along the potato with a very sharp knife. Turn the potato on its side, and continue to slice in the same direction, making square, "stick"-shaped fries.
Yields 4 to 6 servings
Preheat oven to 500 F degrees.
Bring one quart of water to boil at the bottom of a steamer. Place the cut potatoes on the steaming rack of the pot, cover and steam for 10-12 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the potato comes out easily. Take care to not cook the potatoes all the way through (or they will fall apart).
Carefully place potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and toss gently. (At this point, potatoes can be set aside and refrigerated until ready to bake.)
Using a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to a large baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally so they brown evenly. When potatoes are done, they should be crisp and deep golden brown.
Remove fries from the oven, sprinkle with salt, parsley and garlic if desired. Serve immediately.
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