Oven Fries

Evil. Truly evil – but very compelling. I will not be responsible for any massive consumption of potatoes caused by this recipe. From Cook’s Illustrated, the Consumer Reports of culinary pursuits or the cooking magazine of the Anal-Retentive Chef, depending on who you are.

Serves 3 to 4 (ha! Serves slightly more than 2 at our house.)

Take care to cut the potatoes into evenly sized wedges so that all of the pieces will cook at about the same rate. Although it isn’t required, a non-stick baking sheet works particularly well for this recipe. It not only keeps the fries from sticking to the pan but, because of its dark color, encourages deep and even browning. Whether you choose a nonstick baking sheet or a regular baking sheet, make sure that it is heavy duty. The intense heat of the oven may cause lighter pans to warp.

3 large or 4 medium russet potatoes (about 24 oz. total), each potato cut lengthwise into 10-12 evenly sized wedges (I didn’t peel mine. The recipe says to – but all the nutrients are in or near the peel.)
5 T. vegetable or peanut oil (I used canola)
Salt and ground black pepper

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position; heat oven to 475. Place potatoes in large bowl and cover with hot tap water; soak 10 minutes. Meanwhile, coat 18×12 in. heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with 4 T. oil and sprinkle evenly with 3/4 t. salt and 1/4 t. pepper; set aside
2. Drain potatoes. Spread potatoes out on triple layer of paper towels and thoroughly pat dry with additional paper towels. Rinse and wipe out now-empty bowl; return potatoes to bowl and toss with remaining 1 t. oil. Arrange potatoes in single layer on prepared baking sheet; cover tightly with foil and bake 5 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until bottoms of potatoes are spotty golden brown, 15-20 minutes, (mine got brown faster than this) rotating baking sheet after 10 minutes. Using metal spatula and tongs, scrape to loosen potatoes from pan, then flip each wedge, keeping potatoes in single layer. Continue baking until fries are golden and crisp, 5 to 15 minutes longer, rotating pan as needed if fries are browning unevenly.
3. Transfer fries to a second baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. If necessary, season with additional salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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