Yep, that’s what it says – three days. Nope, that’s not a mistake. The up side is these are the best darn diner fries going. The down side is that you need to be patient and plan ahead.Continue reading “The Three-Day Diner Fries”
Know one seems to know when the day first came onto the American stage. Was it five years ago? Ten? Did social media spread the word? Who knows. Frankly, who cares? All that matters is that on the last Thursday in July, hot dog loves across our great nation slather chili all over their dogs. Seems fitting, since July is National Hot Dog Month. Just don’t tell my guys or we’ll be eating hot dogs all month-long!
Steak dinners are amazingly versatile. Dress it up, dress it down. It doesn’t matter if you are wearing fancy duds or jeans and your favorite pair of boots, the steak is what you make of it. Take a Rib Eye Steak served in a wine reduction sauce with Fire Grilled Asparagus and that’s fancy stuff. Serve up a Grilled Rib Eye with Jack Daniel’s Sauce, plate it with creamy mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables, and it’s a whole different steak. Get down to the Cowboy Way of doing things and you’ll want to dress it down while keeping everything awesomely delicious.
If you have been following along for a while now, you know that sometimes my brain works in ways that don’t always make sense. At least not to the outside world. Did you know that today is National Idaho Day? We all know that the best potatoes come from Idaho. So it wasn’t a huge leap to think French Fries, right? Well, yes and no.
Did you know that Snuffer’s Restaurant in Dallas Texas was the creator of Cheddar Cheese Fries way back in 1978? Theirs are hand-cut Idaho potato fries with layers of aged Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese. Made to order, these legendary fries come dressed with chives, bacon or spicy peppers. Since their début over 40 years ago, the concept of Cheddar Cheese Fries has sprung up everywhere. Even Taco Bell and McDonalds has gotten into the act.
I know, this seems like a silly post. After all, how difficult can it be to make oven baked French Fries from those frozen bags? In all honesty, it’s not. Heat the oven, dump the frozen sticks of potatoes onto a baking sheet, bake and serve. Simple.
In our house, we like our oven baked fries golden and crisp on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. We like our fries to have a little seasoning without being too salty. Most of all, we like our fries “fried” without the added grease. This is simple to accomplish without sacrificing the convenience of those frozen bags.
First, reduce the heat. Most bags tell you to heat the oven to 450 degrees. At 425, the potatoes still cook through, but the inside is moist while the outside is “crisp”.
Next, spray the baking sheet with a little cooking spray – not much – a light coating is all you need. Spread the fries out in a single layer, then spray the fries themselves lightly with cooking spray such as Pam. The spray will give you that “fried” texture without submerging your taters in oil and it will help the seasonings stay with the frozen spuds.
Yeah, season them. Not just with salt, try using Seasoning Salt. It will give your fries a nice seasoned flavor while adding a hint of golden color.
During the last 5 minutes of cooking, turn the oven off. This serves two purposes – it keeps the fries warm while you finish off whatever else you might be serving, and the fries won’t overcook. That’s all there is to it.
The thing I love about all these “convenient” frozen packages is that the home-cook can always improve them with a few little tweaks of our own.
For those of you who would rather have the tips summed up in a recipe, here ya go:
Perfect Oven French Fries
1/2 Bag Frozen French Fries
Seasoning Salt to taste
Heat oven to 425 degrees. While the oven heats, line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Lightly spray the foil with cooking spray.
Spread French Fries in a single layer on baking sheet. Spray fries with cooking spray.
Season as desired.
Bake in oven for 20 minutes. Turn oven off, let the fries continue to warm another 5 minutes or so.
Here are a few of our favorite “with fries on the side” recipes that are perfect on the griddle, making them year-round burgers: