Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Addictive Potato Chips or French Fries that are Baked not Fried

Crispy Potato Cubes, baked not fried


I don't know about you but I absolutely love French fries. In Trinidad, no doubt due to our history of being a British colony, we call French fries 'chips', although with the advent of so many KFC outlets in Trinidad, the term fries has gained more popularity. A quick search online to find the origin of 'French fries' which seems to be obviously French led me actually to Belgium. According to Wikipedia, 'French fries' may have been mistakenly named by British and American soldiers because the Belgians spoke French, the soldiers assumed that they were in france and eating a French dish.

Whether it really was supposed to be 'Belgian Fries' and not ;French Fries', I know you will agree with me that fries are morsels of crunchy deliciousness. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. There is a catch to all this exquisite yumminess, ah yes, the fact that these are usually deep fried.

That's what really great about this recipe, you get all the crunchy caramelized potato exterior and soft fluffy interior that you love in a traditional fried potato, but without all of the fat. What I love about this recipe as well is that there is no sitting and babysitting the pot, you leave for 15 to 20 minutes, and comes back, give it a turn. I don't even bother to peel the potatoes, I just scrub them really good with soap.

One thing though to remember is to wash the potatoes slices to take out the starch and dry them thoroughly afterwards. Otherwise you will be getting soggy potatoes not divinely crispy ones. Also lay them out in only one layer on your pan, don't overcrowd. If you follow the above tips, you will be on your way to crispy 'baked' fries that look and taste like they have been dunked in hot oil though all they have done was hung out in the oven.

I did potatoes cubes, but this recipe works for normal French fries and wedges, the only difference being the cooking time involved. If you want wedges but don't have the time to cook them in the oven, I recommend cooking them partially in boiling water and then slicing them in wedges and letting them finish cooking in oven.

I dipped my 'fries' in a mixture of ketchup, soy sauce and pepper sauce. Gosh so good! This is one of my favorite recipes, and if you give it a try, I guarantee you will not miss that deep fried French fry.


  
Cuisine:        Belgium or France 
Good for:      Lunch, Dinner, Snack
Category:      Side Dish     
Time:            1½ hours
Serves:         3
Skill:             Medium
Suitable: Vegetarian, Low fat
Heat: mild

 
Ingredients

6           Potatoes scrubbed clean.
5 tb       vegetable or coconut oil
             salt to taste
¼ tsp    black pepper (optional)
½ tsp    chilli powder (optional)
2 tb       parsley (optional)

Procedure 
  1. Slice potatoes either as French fries or as we say in Trinidad; chips, larger for wedges or if you want as cubes like I did.
  2. There is no need to peel potatoes if you have washed them properly.
  3. Soak slices in water and wash out as much starch from potatoes.
  4. Drain and place on a clean dry kitchen towel to dry.
  5. Once the potato slices are dried toss them with oil, salt and black pepper and chilli powder.
  6. Preheat oven to 400º.
  7. Grease two baking sheets and add potatoes in an even flat layer. Ensure that there is space between potato and use an extra pan if necessary.
  8. Place in oven and bake for 40mins for french fries, 50-60mins for cubes and 1 hour 15mins for wedges.
  9. If you are making wedges, you can partially cook the potatoes by boiling before cutting into wedges to save on cooking time.
  10. Turn potato every 15 to 20 minutes so all sides can brown.
  11. Take out of oven when done and add more salt if necessary.
  12. Toss with parley and Enjoy!


Do's and Don'ts
  • Do dry potatoes thoroughly. If you don't your fries will not be crispy.
  • Don't overcrowd the pan, as your fries will steam.
  • Do turn occasionally as if you don't your potatoes will stick to the pan.

 

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