I gotta talk to you about baked fries, potato wedges, oven fries or whatever ya want to call them. You know what I mean, right? Cut your potatoes into wedges, toss them in a little oil and cook them in a hot oven for 30 to 45 minutes or so?
Years ago, when I first heard of these, I was psyched! Simple, easy and healthier fries. The problem? They were never great! They were always a bit spotty and sometimes a bit limp. They’d stick to the pan and if you’d use foil, they’d still stick. And I know I’m not the only one with this problem – I’ve seen photos! Frankly they were just a hot mess.
Don’t get me wrong, we’d eat them all up – they weren’t horrible by any means, but we’d also learn to search for the “good” ones and we’d use a lot of ketchup. And at the end, we’d just kind of be eating them coz they were there on the plate. That’s no way to live! Life’s too short for lackluster fries…do I get an “Amen” here?
Then I thought about McDonald’s fries and a Cook’s Country Jo Jo recipe I made (oh, are they ever good!) and they were both twice cooked. And so I thought I’d try that method on my oven fries. The first “cook” is in the microwave, then they’re baked.
So here they are – beautifully golden, crunchy on the outside, creamy inside. I’m telling ya, they are a wonderful thing! A few minutes of extra work and you’ll have wowza oven fries! The best oven fries. The “BOMB” as my son pronounced them! And just as an aside? They’re a fraction of the cost of any frozen, bagged fries.
Bomb Baked Potato Wedges
Serves 4 a very moderate serving amount with none left over; easily increases.
- 1 1/4 pounds (4 medium) cut into 6 wedges, use potatoes uniform in size if possible. Peel or not, as you wish. If you use larger potatoes, cut into 8 wedges.
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt or Seasoning Salt or 3 teaspoons of Jo Jo spice blend, or seasoning of your own choice.
In a large, microwave safe bowl, toss potato wedges with oil and salt (or spice mixture); cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave on high until potatoes are tender but not falling apart, 7 to 9 minutes. Shake bowl (it will be hot!) without removing or disturbing plastic wrap to redistribute the potatoes halfway through cooking.
The plastic wrap is going to expand dramatically – don’t worry, it will be fine.
Make about an inch long puncture with a sharp knife in plastic wrap about 1/2 inch from the edge of the bowl, being very careful of the steam that will rise. If the wrap is holding tightly, drain the potatoes using the puncture as a spout; if not, a colander works well.
The potatoes should be not quite cooked through, a little soft and gummy, and just a bit translucent at the very edges. If not recover and put back in the microwave for a moment or two.
Gently stir, then using a slotted spoon and allowing excess moisture to fall back into the bowl, arrange potatoes on rimmed baking sheet and cool about 10 minutes on the counter. Without being overly fussy, its best if the larger potatoes are on the outside and smaller ones in the middle. Knock them over so a cut side is down. (Potatoes can sit at room temperature for up to 2 hours.)
Bake at 450 for about 30 to 35 minutes, turning once the bottoms are nicely browned, at about 20 minutes. Continue to bake until golden, browned and delicious.
- Some of the oil and salt or spice mixture IS discarded when potatoes are drained.
- Expand recipe by using a potato per person (if medium-sized)
- Size matters – if you use all different sizes, they’ll cook at different rates.
- Salt is really not optional – it helps draw out the moisture and make a crisp crust. If your spice mix doesn’t have it, add salt. Kosher is better because it is made specifically to help draw moisture out of things. Here’s Morton’s Conversion Chart.
from the kitchen of http://www.frugalhausfrau.com
Parmesan Baked Potato Wedges
Bake potatoes using above recipe, cutting down on salt to one teaspoon and omitting the spice blend. When still hot from the oven add to a bowl with the cheese mixture, below, and toss.
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- Fresh parsley chopped, about a teaspoon
- I made these with my Rotisserie Chicken Spice rub…my gosh, was it good.
- I’ve used Cajun, Creole and even Rib Rub. See some of these mixtures on my Spice, Herb or Flavor Packet Substitutes.
- I’ve used Parmesan and Rosemary.
- I’ve used Rosemary and olive oil and then sprinkled with feta.
- My family goes nuts if I make these plain, then cover with a little grated cheese and place them in the oven to melt with the residual heat…then sprinkle with bacon and a dollop of sour cream.
- Use your imagination!
Yeah, right! As if you’ll have any! Try breaking them up and reheating in a skillet the next morning for hash browns.