I think potatoes have kind of gotten a bad rap. And, that makes me sad. Yes, while they are wonderful deep fried – they can be great when done with a more healthful approach as well. I’ve been making baked oven fries for as long as I can remember being active in the kitchen. They’re so simple, and make the perfect side to so many meals. You can be simple with the seasonings – going for just salt and pepper. Or, spice it up! I love adding oregano, Herbes de Provence, or Montreal Steak seasoning to switch things up a bit.
The key to the awesomeness of these fries, the uber-crispiness, is a result of a soak in the hot saltwater. The undisputed best place in the world for Boardwalk fries is Thrashers, in nearby Ocean City, MD. They do a soak in salt water, which I always knew was the key to their greatness. They also don’t serve ketchup, which most people might find kind of odd. Salt and vinegar only! Anyways, the original recipe calls for regular hot water. Which, is fine too. But, if you’re a sodium hound like I am, add a little salt to the water as well. Either way, make sure the water is good and hot. I’m no AB, but, I think the hot water starts to break down the starches or something. Helping the fries along in their quest for crispiness. I promise you’ll make these again and again!
Baked Oven Fries
3 russet potatoes (about 24 oz. total), peeled and cut lengthwise into even sized wedges
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
Preheat the oven to 475? F and move an oven rack to the second-lowest position. Place the potato wedges in a large mixing bowl. Cover with hot water and add 1 tablespoon of salt, stir to combine. Soak for 10-20 minutes. Put 2 tablespoons of the oil onto a heavy, rimmed baking sheet. Tilt the sheet side to side to evenly coat the pan with oil (a pastry brush can also help with this). Set aside.
Drain the potatoes. Spread the wedges out on layers of paper towels or on clean kitchen towels. Pat dry with additional towels. Wipe out the now empty bowl so it is dry. Return the potatoes to the bowl and toss with the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, the remaining salt, and pepper. Arrange the potato wedges on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake until the bottoms of the potatoes are spotty golden brown, 15-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 10 minutes. Using a metal spatula and tongs, flip each potato wedge keeping them in a single layer. Continue baking until the fries are golden and crisp, 10 -15 minutes. Rotate the pan as needed to ensure even browning.
When the fries are finished baking, transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain some of the grease. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.