The potato gets a bum rap. In the colorful world of vibrant green, red, orange and yellow vegetables the potato is like a poor, little hobo. All dirty and dusty, drab in color, with pock marks all over him. But oh, the glorious things you can do with a potato. I would have to say he gets the vote as my favorite vegetable. You can mash him, fry him, bake, roast or scallop him. He can be stuffed, made into a chip or even a salad. He’s a versatile little fellow.
But mama loves her fries. There, I’ve said it, I’m coming clean. French fried potatoes are my absolute favorite food. That being said, I don’t find cooking anything in a vat of oil all that appetizing. So, when I’m at home I like to make my fries in the oven, and they’re just as good. No, actually better. These are lightly tossed with some olive oil, parsley, coarse salt, fresh black pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes, and then topped off with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. For me they’re a meal in itself!
Baked Parmesan Fries
3-4 medium russet potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, minced fine
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh, ground pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F, and spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Peel 3-4 russet potatoes. Cut in half length-wise then cut each half length-wise into 4 slices, trying to have all slices the same thickness. Put potato slices in a bowl of cold water so they don’t turn brown while your preparing them.
3. Drain potatoes, and pat dry with a paper towel. Put potatoes in large bowl and toss with the olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to coat each fry. Spread out onto a metal baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 38-42 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
4. Using a metal spatula, gently remove fries from baking sheet and toss in a shallow bowl with parsley and grated Parmesan cheese generously over the fries.
Serves 4 (or 2 in my house)