Friday, October 15, 2010

Garlic Oven Fries

French fries were one of the delicious reasons I needed to lose weight. They certainly do not fit into a mindful Michael Pollen style whole natural food diet that excludes eating any "food" that arrives through the window of your car. Yet, every now and then, I simply had to have french fries.

A little tinkering with this wonderful oven fry recipe from the BBC made it easy to give up consuming the thousand calories worth of fat that accompanied the take out fries. I can't even pretend that I need to give Mr. Ore Ida my money, as delicious home made garlic oven fries take even less time to prepare.
Made from peeled baking potatoes

Aren't they beautiful!!!

Garlic Oven Fries, Americanized version
(serves four) nutrition facts


2-3 large red potatoes
2 T olive oil (grapeseed also works very well)
1 t granulated garlic or to taste
pinch or so of cayenne pepper (optional)
Course ground sea salt and black pepper to taste


Heat oven to 450 degrees F.

Rinse the potatoes and cut off any funky bits, but do not peel. Slice into wedges that are about the size of your forefinger. Put them in a large bowl and cover with cold tap water. Allow to set for 1 hour. Drain, rinse well, and pat dry with a tea towel. Dry the bowl. Soaking and rinsing removes some of the starch from the potato which lets moisture evaporate more quickly in baking so that the wedges crisp up nicer.

Return the potatoes to the dried bowl and mix with just enough olive oil to lightly coat. Then sprinkle with a generous amount of garlic and salt to taste. Stir well. I find that the bit of cayenne finishes the flavors just perfectly. It's not spicy since there is only a tiny bit, it's just enough to add a peppery flavor in the background. Give it a try.

Line your largest baking dish (15x10 inches is great) with parchment paper and spread out the potato fingers. Do not crowd the fries or they will not crisp. 

Roast on the bottom rack of the oven for about 20 minutes, remove from the oven and gently turn each fry.

Return to the oven and cook for another 15 minutes or so. It will all depend upon how thickly you cut the wedges, gently turning over with a spatula after 20 minutes.

They are done when they turn a lovely golden brown. 

Use a spatula and remove the browned fries to a bowl and taste one (you are the cook and thus it is required that you taste to make sure all is well for your guests). Sprinkle with more sea salt or fresh cracked black pepper if you like.

If you use only 1 T of oil, there are only 143 calories in one serving. The processed reformed potato bits are simply no where near as lovely, low calorie, nutritious, or delicious as your very own. A mindful win!

***News Flash!!! I made Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Fries in addition to the regular potato fries last night and they were fabulous! I did not use the garlic or cayenne on the sweet potatoes, just salt and pepper. They cooked slightly faster than the regular potatoes so do them on a separate sheet.

The original recipe from the BBC used regular baking potatoes. They were fine (see the picture) and if you love that type of potato roast them using the same method.
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  1. Agree -- much better for you and tastier. I have never used sea salt; mostly a pepper blend of seasonings so I will give sea salt a go next time!

  2. I bet the pepper blend would be awesome for the baking part in place of the garlic salt! Sea salt at the end is for those that like fries for their saltiness. I don't add it myself, but I like it because in those grinders the chunks of salt are larger and I don't think you need as much.

  3. How many servings does this recipe make? I want to make sure I only eat my portion and I know when French fries are around, I tend to eat more than my share! :)

  4. Best money I've spent in a long long time was my ActiFry, it allows you to put any veggies (potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, peppers, mushrooms.... ) and no veggies (including lean sausages and other delicacies) and roast them wiht only one spoonful of oil!
    LOOK FOR IT, you'll never make amess again frying and also save money on oil, not to talk about eating healthily!!!!

  5. Barb, there are 6 servings in the recipe.

    Hi there Anon! That sounds like a terrific gadget!

  6. when i make sweet potato fries i put some cayen pepper on them. it makes the sweet and spicy!

  7. what a great idea and I am surprised I didn't think of that. One thing I got out of living in Houston was the love of spicy foods!

  8. In Mexico we don't have the same kind of potato, so what I do is cut them, boil them until almost done, dry them, put them in th olive oil, crushed sea salt and rosemary mix, then in the oven or on a big skillet to make them nice, roasted and crispy... saves gas and time.

  9. what a marvelous idea no matter what kind of potato you use. Well, it wouldn't work with sweet potato, but any type of regular potato and I bet you are good.

    I believe I'll give that a try and I very much appreciate your comment! Take care!

  10. I have made these for years, any spice will do depending on the meal!

    our favorite is salt, pepper, rosemary....

  11. Trying skipping the olive oil.....spray the baking sheet with olive oil spray, then put the ffs on the baking sheet, spray again and sprinkle your seasonings, turn them and spray again. Almost no oil but they get crispy and taste the same as with all that oil. Really!

  12. What do you mean by "ground garlic"? My local Middle Eastern store sells fresh garlic paste - that should work, shouldn't it? Though I have no objection to just chopping fresh garlic up really fine.

    1. Hi Kathe! I am sorry that was not clear. I mean granulated dry garlic. It has more coverage than paste would - unless you made sure to work the paste onto every fry. Then it would be fine. Off to correct the instructions!