Oven-Baked Crispy French Fries
This week’s healthy eating tips are about baking food that you normally would fry and to make things from scratch whenever possible.
I know baking isn’t something anyone wants to do in the heat of the summer (when Ramadan falls this year in the U.S., insha’allah) but you hopefully have the grill as a substitute and really look forward to using it all summer long. In the meantime, get used to baking or oven roasting as a preliminary way to ease up on frying foods whenever possible—and when I say ‘fry’ I am referring to deep frying or using lots of oil in cooking, not the gentle sauté that is the base for so many great dishes, such as soups, stews, curries and the like.
Here are some examples:
Potatoes: how often do you fry potatoes as a dish all their own or as part of another dish? As long as they’re cut thin, they bake pretty quickly. This goes for sweet potatoes, Yukon and the all-American baking potato.
Peppers: Peppers retain a lot of oil when fried, so the best way to prepare them in a less greasy manner is to roast them over a stovetop or on the grill.
Greens: you might normally bake greens, but you can. For example, you can bake hearty greens like cabbage and radicchio. If you want to make the same dishes grilled, simply use a grill pan or wrap in parchment paper then foil (I’m not a fan of cooking food wrapped in aluminum).
Squash, tomatoes and other hearty veggies: Roasted tomatoes are so delicious and even if you wouldn’t eat them as a side dish or alone for any reason, you can save them to puree into dips or add to soups and stews, which provides a complexity of flavor that is hard to miss in the final dish.
As a sampler of oven-roasted goodness, here’s my three-ingredient recipe for home baked fries, cut thin enough to cook quickly and provide a crunch yet thick enough to give that perfect chew in the middle we all love about this favorite American food. Who needs a restaurant?
Oven-Baked French Fries
1 pound Russet potatoes
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Wash potatoes thoroughly, scrubbing off any dirt. Dry completely (this is the secret to a crispy fry).
Cut each potato thinly, about 1 cm thick. Place them on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sea salt.
Bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly before serving.
What are some of your favorite foods to bake or grill instead of fry?
Assalamua’laykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu, Yvonne 🙂 . JazakAllah for the Ramadan-shape up post! It’s the perfect time to start planning for the blessed month, and the creativity part of my brain could certainly use a boost by being more ‘au naturel’ with food :P.
MashAllah, your baked fries look absolutely delicious – I use the same kind of recipe for making Baked Potato Wedges (compared to Baked Fries, the potato wedges are thicker width-wise and are half as long as the fries). For some flavour punch, I add pinches of paprika, pepper, and a roasted vegetable seasoning.
You can also substitute potatoes for julienned-style carrots: just mix in olive oil, dried thyme leaves and pepper to matchstick-cut carrots, stir, and roast at 400°F (200°C), stirring once or twice, until tender, which is app. 30 – 45 minutes. Hmm, now I’m craving some roasted veggies and baked fries :D!
Sounds lovely… I’m an avid believer in roasting, especially in the outdoors! Love the line: “Who needs a restaurant?” I always say the same thing. Barak Allahu fikum
hmmmm, could have used this last night, the babies were craving fries. instead we did baked potatoes
Yum, yum, yum I haven’t had that many fries in the last year or so but These I’ll eat!!
Yummy yummy, I mix , peppers, eggplant, a clove of garlic and a tomato with my patatoes and bake them at 400 F . It is not all the way crispy but sure is tasty. Don’t forget to season it with salt and little bit of black pepper..,