With my recent super easy sandwich posts, I’ve noted that French Fries are the natural “side” – be it Go Packers – It’s Bratwurst Burger Time! or Super Easy Chicken Club Sandwich or even an oldie but a goodie The Triumph of the All American Steak Burger. This got me to thinking about the fries themselves.
I know, this seems like a silly post. After all, how difficult can it be to 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 on the outside, soft on the inside. We like a little seasoning. We like “fried” fries 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. A blend of onion powder, garlic powder and paprika is nice. Try Garlic Salt – the little flakes of parsley found in most garlic salt shakers adds some nice color to the fries. Seasoning salt is also great, or just a little salt is fine.
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:
1/2 Bag Frozen French Fries
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick 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 continue to warm another 5 minutes or so.