So, I decided to disappear for a while. I went up to San Francisco for my best friend’s engagement party. It was a great trip filled with many friends, parties, Napa wine tasting, Czech bars, dive bars and couch surfing. I love San Francisco; it’s always been one of my favorite cities. The fact that several of my favorite friends only makes every trip there even better.
Garlic fries always remind me of San Francisco. It might seem like a random association, but if you have been to a baseball game at AT&T Park (wonderful park, god-awful baseball team), you have probably smelled the scent of garlic wafting through the air. The garlic fries there are pretty close to perfect.
I made these fries in the oven. Fries from the oven can sometimes be a soggy disappointment and since I love my fries super crispy, I usually find them to be more trouble than they are worth. Luckily, moving the rack in the oven means that these came out super crispy. Some were even a bit too well done, oops. Between the garlic on top and the seasoning on the fries, they were full of flavor. I think they are best served with plain old ketchup or an aioli (can you tell I have a serious garlic problem yet?).
Oven Baked Garlic Fries
FOR THE FRIES:
- 3 potatoes (russet or yukon gold), washed and dried
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil or peanut oil
- 3-6 cloves garlic, minced
FOR THE SEASONING:
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- Place an oven rack at the lowest position and heat the oven to 475 degrees.
- Heat the minced cloves of garlic and 1 tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over medium heat for 2 minutes. Strain the garlic from the oil with a small mesh strainer. Set both garlic and oil/duck fat aside.
- Cut each potato lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices and then cut each slice into 1/4 inch fries (if using a mandolin slicer, attach french fry blade and set thickness to 1/4 inch). In a large bowl, cover potato slices with hot tap water and soak for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, coat a 18 by 12-inch heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with 4 tablespoon oil and sprinkle evenly with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and set aside. Use a heavy-duty baking sheet to prevent warping in the hot oven.
- Drain the potatoes and then dry them by spreading them out on a triple layer of paper towels. Use additional paper towels to pat them dry. Rinse and wipe out the now-empty bowl, return the potatoes to the bowl and toss with the seasonings and the 1 tablespoon oil used to heat garlic earlier. Arrange the potatoes in single layer on the prepared baking sheet, cover tightly with foil and bake for 5 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the bottoms of the potatoes start to turn golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating baking sheet after 10 minutes for even browning.
- Scrape the pan with a spatula and tongs to loosen potatoes from the pan, then turn the fries over, keeping them in a single layer. Continue baking until the fries are golden and crisp, 5 to 15 minutes longer, rotating pan as needed if fries are browning unevenly. Transfer the fries to a second baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. Toss with garlic, finely chopped parsley. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.