So, you may have already guessed it, but I like oven fries. Like, a lot. I’d almost say I love them. Wait, that’s a lie. I would definitely say that I love them…but conditionally.
I know, I know. How awful of me. Everything I have ever heard about love has pointed to the opposite kind, the one without conditions or expectations. I’d like to remind you, dear reader, that these are just french fries. And they are supposed to be crispy, are they not? So many times have I found myself gravely disappointed at the soggy, slippery fries that sometimes emerge from people’s ovens. No, it isn’t that they needed to be deep-fried. They didn’t need more oil. They needed more time in the oven!
I realize they smell good. I know you are drooling. Likewise, I understand your anticipation while waiting for these delicious little treats to roast away. But there is something I have started saying to myself whenever I know I have messed something up (be it in my own kitchen or at work), when I know it just isn’t quite right, no matter how ready I am for it to be complete. There is only one word that crosses my mind when this happens–standards.
I have made the mistake of not cooking oven fries long enough, myself. And I know that it seems like a long time, and I’m sure that the fries are going to look ready long before they are perfect. I know you will find yourself questioning me. But trust me–I have got this method down. These can be sub-par or they can be excellent, greasy or crisp, rubbery or velvet. And it all comes down to cooking them on high heat for a long time, longer than your nose will think you can manage. These are aromatic from the start, but it takes 40 minutes of redistributing at ten-minute intervals, followed by a blast of broiler heat, to make them taste even better than your senses had imagined.
Finally, it may not be classy, but you should know. These pair really well with a good helping of Heinz for dipping. Perhaps I’ll start holding out my pinky finger as I eat them to make up for it.
Pimenton Roasted Oven Fries
Method Inspired By this
1 1/2 lb yukon gold potatoes, sliced into matchsticks
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp smoked sweet paprika
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne (or more, if you like heat)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
sea salt and ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and grease two baking sheets with cooking spray. Rinse potato matchsticks in cold water. Coat potatoes in olive oil, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper. Divide potatoes evenly on baking sheets and place in oven. Bake the fries for 40 minutes, removing them at ten-minute intervals to redistribute the fries (this allows them to get a good crust on them). Afterward, broil the fries for another 3-5 minutes, or until they have reached the desired brown/crispiness. Sprinkle with additional sea salt and serve.