P-daddy and I are pretty healthy eaters most of the time. We of course occasionally grab fast food and have unhealthy snacks, but for the most part, we prepare healthy, simple, nutritious food at home. We even sometimes attempt to find ways to make our unhealthy choices a little better for us. Lately, I tried this with my #1 vice: french fries!
Now, I grew up with my daddy making french fries for us in a Fry-Daddy, so that they were completely saturated and deep-fried. I also LOVE McDonalds’ french fries, and could eat them every day if my heart and waist could handle it! Unfortunately, I seem to have passed my love of french fries on to Pooh, who makes a meal of them every chance he gets.
Recently, I embarked on a quest to healthify some french fries. I started with a couple pounds of red potatoes that we’d gotten in our produce co-op but hadn’t used. First, I cut them all into french fry slices.
As you can see in the picture above, I left the peels on – it’s a personal preference, and appeals to my lazy side. Anyway, next I covered them with water in a large pot and brought them to a boil.
After a couple minutes of boiling, when the potatoes just started to soften, I drained them and left them to cool. Then I placed them on a single layer on a flexible cutting board lightly sprayed with oil, and I stuck the whole thing in the freezer for a couple hours, until the pieces are frozen.
For me, the flexible cutting board was essential. If you use a stiff cutting board or a cookie sheet, the frozen potatoes can be difficult to remove. But with the flexible sheet, I just gently rolled the edges in, and the frozen pieces unstuck themselves. I’ll note that if the potatoes are touching each other, they stick to each other as well (ask me how I know!). When I removed the frozen fries, I transferred them from to quart-size ziploc bags and popped them back into the freezer.
Then, when I want french fries, I just grab a bag and shake some of the fries onto a lightly sprayed baking sheet.
I then take a small bowl and pour a couple teaspoons of olive oil in it, then use a pastry brush to lightly spread the oil over the potatoes. After baking until the potatoes are soft and the bottoms are browning, (I go by look and texture, not by time, especially since I’ve been using a toaster oven for these), I flip to broil for a few minutes to get the tops browned. After all that, here’s what I get:
Perfectly cooked and delicious oven-baked “fries”! Sprinkle with a little salt, and I don’t even need catsup!