Thursday, January 5, 2012

Garlic Parmesan fries

I love hand cut fries, especially the ones at the fair! Come to think of it, I don't know if there is a French fry out there that I don't like. I used to buy bags of frozen French fries. They don't taste quite like the ones in restaurants or at the fair, but they do make a quick, easy to prepare, and tasty side dish to our sandwich meals.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I have been striving to incorporate more healthy choices within our menu. One small change I have made is making my own hand cut fries rather than buying the bags of the frozen ones from Ore Ida. I realized that hand cut fries are not difficult to make, and I have had fun creating seasonings to jazz them up a bit. I have also found that I can make them for much less than the cost of the prepared fries. I can also better control the amount of fat and salt used in making them.

Here's a recipe for the garlic parmesan fries we ate this week with some beef brisket I pulled out from our freezer. Because I paired this fresh made side dish with a freezer main dish that just needed to be reheated, this meal was ready to be on the table with about 15 minutes of prep time. During the 45 minutes of bake time, I was able to help the kids finish up their homework. The smell of garlic from the baking fries had lured the kids from their playtime upstairs down into the kitchen. We completed our meal with a tossed salad and fresh pineapple.

Garlic Paremesan Fries
4 large potatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil
1.5 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp seasoned salt
2-3 Tbsp parmesan cheese
1-2 Tbsp parsley

1. Scrub the potatoes clean removing any bad spots you might find.
2. Slice each potato into 4 slices (the long way) so you have 4 large ovals from each potato.
3. Cut each oval into 4 or 5 strips depending on the size of your potatoes.
4. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl.
5. Drizzle the potatoes with the olive oil and toss to coat.

6. Sprinkle half the garlic powder and seasoned salt over the potatoes and toss. Sprinkle the remaining seasonings and toss again.
7. Place the seasoned fries on a large baking sheet in a single layer.

8. Bake for 45 minutes in a preheated 425 degree oven. Flip fries over after 30 minutes of cooking time to brown on both sides.
9. When fries are baked, remove pan from oven. Sprinkle fries with parmesan cheese and parsley. (I did not measure the amounts; I just sort of shook them on until they looked like something I would get at a restaurant)
10. Return pan to oven for a few minutes to melt the Parmesan just a bit. Add a few shakes of salt to taste if needed.

I chose to use garlic powder instead of crushed garlic cloves because the kids like the flavor of garlic, but they don't like the texture. You could easily substitute 3 crushed garlic cloves and the recipe would still be very good.

Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, slightly salty, robust
with garlic, and topped with parmesan cheese...Yummy, yum, yum!

What is your favorite way to enjoy French fries?

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