"Healthy French Fries"
Recipe: "Healthy French Fries"
Last week I made some really fun French Fries. I don't usually make fries at home. I save that evil indulgence for when I'm in a restaurant and in a diet destructive mood.
I saw a recipe for supposedly healthy French fries in Cooking Light Magazine but I thought they were still too full of fat and evil ingredients (if you're on a diet). Okay, so who'd think French fries can be part of a healthy diet. I know, it's a stretch. But stretch I did, to make this recipe more healthy.
By the by, I do recommend Cooking Light Magazine. It's the most creative magazine I've ever come across that tries diligently to lighten up the American diet. I give them much credit.
Now, back to the fries.
Once you make these fries I have a feeling you are going to agree with me that they are an inspiration for the many flavors that fries could come in; but don't. Imagine Curry Fries, Southwestern Fries and even French Tarragon Fries. You'll see what I mean in a minute.
"Healthy" French Fries
Five Ingredients or Less. Even a Fool Can Cook Like a Gourmet
Serves 2. Can be multiplied easily
1 large Idaho potato. Scrubbed but no need to take off the skin. There are nutrients there!
4 tsp of Extra Virgin Olive oil
Olive oil spray
Toppings* See note below
Cut your baking potato in half across the potato. This will make shorter fries so you can eat more of them without feeling guilty. Then cut the halves in half again the long way. This gives you a stable surface if you set it on the flat side. Now work your way across the potato cutting 1/3 inch strips. Cut those slices into strips so you have the French fry shape. (Some of you will have a mandolin and can do this faster). You'll have a few odd shaped ends but no matter. That same thing happens for McDonald's too.
Now, here's the brilliance I learned from Cooking Light. Take a large zip lock bag. Put the olive oil in. (They used canola oil. I try to use olive oil whenever possible for the health benefits).
Put your potato strips (fries) in the bag and toss them around to coat them. Then spray a large cookie sheet with olive oil spray and dump your potatoes on the cookie sheet. Spread them out so they don't touch any more than necessary. The more French fry surface that touches the cookie sheet the crisper your fries will be.
Now sprinkle on your topping (or combination of toppings. You can also have "after baking" toppings. Stand by). If you're a purist you might just do sea salt. Grate some on. Other options include:
Southwester seasoning (my personal favorite)
Your favorite meat rub (not just for meat anymore)
Pepper or cayenne
(You get the idea. Discover what's in your spice cabinet).
Sprinkle on your choice (or choices) and put in a 400 degree oven. You'll roast them for 20 minutes. Then turn them over using a metal spatula. You might not get them all turned over but go for the most you can. Then do not turn them again. Wait until the full 50 minutes before being tempted to toss them around.
The fries will be crispy and the flavor(s) you chose will be baked in.
Now you can consider "after baking" toppings. Put these onto the hot fries.
Grated parmesan cheese
Grated cheddar cheese
Grated popcorn seasonings (there are several flavors on the market)
Fresh herbs, like minced parsley, tarragon or chives.
The fries are marvelous with or without the "after baking" toppings. I'm just trying to inspire you to be bold. These are great without ketchup, gravy, barbecue sauce or any other kind of dips but I'll leave those extra calories up to you.
Also, feel free to make these fries with sweet potatoes. The only change I'd make is I'd peel them.
Enjoy. Cheers! Zola
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