I’ve been trying to get these right for a long time. After combining elements from several different recipes, I think I’ve finally hit on a winner. This recipe will probably make enough for four adult portions.
1 1/2 lbs medium potatoes – mealy or waxy, I don’t think it matters. Use what you like.
3 T olive oil
1/2 t coarse salt
1/2 t pepper
1. Preheat oven to 500°F. If your oven doesn’t get up that high, turn it as high as it will go. Seriously, do the preheat, because you want the oven ready as soon as you’re done dealing with the potatoes. Use a baking sheet with low sides (if the sides are too high, the fries with just steam; no sides and you’ll have an oily mess all over your oven). Line the baking sheet with heavy foil, shiny side up, and put it in the oven while preheating.
2. After washing and allowing the potatoes to dry, slice them into fries (peel the potatoes if you want to – I don’t). You want them to be roughly the same length and not much thicker than 1/3 inch. Toss the fries with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Take the baking sheet out of the hot oven and arrange fries, cut side down, in a single layer (they will sizzle upon hitting the pan).
3. Turn the oven down to 450°F and bake the fries for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, take them out and carefully turn them with a pair of tongs (they will probably stick a little), then bake for another 5-10 minutes on the other side.
4. After baking, toss the fries with more salt and pepper if desired and serve immediately.
Note from Cliff on 2010-11-07: Use parchment paper instead of foil as the layer separating the taters from the cookie sheet and they won’t stick or otherwise make a mess when it’s time to flip/serve them.