30 Minutes Thursdays: Have It Your Way Oven "Fries"

It feels like forever since I’ve written a Thirty Minute Thursday post, between Thanksgiving and my trip to Cancun, but to make up for it I have two of Rachael Ray’s dependable recipes today. You see, there must be close to a half dozen different ways of making oven fries in her cookbook (ok, make that 4), and it seems silly to write a separate entry for each of them since they really follow the same basic preparation method. I haven’t made all of them yet – just two so far – but they wound up being pretty great and definitely easy.

The first one I tried was an herb and cheese oven fry recipe that I brutally overcooked (re: burned), but I still liked them. They had a ton of flavor, and I’m not even just talking about the char! The cheese was what burned, meaning that flavor wound up being pretty weak, so I can only imagine how tasty they would have been if I had paid more attention to them while they baked.

Next I tried “pigskin potatoes,” which were also really tasty, and very much like an oven “fry” should be. The thicker ones weren’t quite crisp enough for my liking, so I’d suggest taking care to slice them as equally as you can manage, erring on the side of thin (unless you like thicker, less crispy fries) – I know my potato slicing skills could use some work. Still, they had a ton of flavor, even moreso than the last ones, and were spicy from the copious amounts of black pepper that I added. I didn’t add salt, but of course – being fries – they’d be good with a little sprinkling!

Because I don’t really believe that these are separate recipes, but rather two variations of one basic recipe for how to make oven baked potato “fries,” I thought it would make more sense to blend the two recipes into one more generic one that you can tweak as you like. Add the spices or toppings that you love, and omit the ones that you don’t. Even consider switching up the base ingredient – potatoes – for a less conventional fry: sweet potato, kohlrabi, zucchini, and turnips would all work with perhaps just a slight modification of cooking time. 

Have Them Your Way Oven Fries, adapted from Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals
Yield: 4 servings

The Ingredients
3-4 all-purpose potatoes
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-4 teaspoons seasonings1, 2
½ cup additional toppings (optional)3

The Method
Preheat the oven to 500°.

Slice the potatoes into thin wedges and arrange on a baking sheet. Drizzle with enough olive oil to coat, season with selected herbs and spices, and toss to coat. Place in the oven to roast for 25-30 minutes, turning over halfway. If using cheese, sprinkle over the potatoes for the last 10 or so minutes of baking to melt.

1Rachael’s Other Ideas for combinations: (1) For pigskin potatoes, use freshly ground black pepper, paprika, and garlic powder (2) For herb and cheese potatoes, use dried Italian seasonings like oregano, thyme, parsley and basil (3) For herbes de provence oven fries, use dried parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
2Other Seasoning Ideas: (1) Taco Seasoning: chili powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper flakes (2) Indian Spices: garam masala, cardamom, coriander, basil, cinnamon and turmeric (3) Asian spices: ground ginger, five spice powder
3Beyond all of the different types of cheeses you can do, bulk them up with salsas, guacamole, chili, pesto, and sauces/marinades (maple glazes, soy or hoisin sauce, hot sauce, infused oils, etc.).


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