Ah, the French fry. A simple combination of salt, fat and carbs that scratches the worst junk food itch.

Not everyone has a fryer at home. I don’t. Our kitchen isn’t even equipped with an exhaust fan! The next best way to make fries is in the oven. If you want them crispy, you’ll need thin-cut potatoes, a really hot oven (convection if you have it), and just a light coating of oil–too much makes a soggy mess. Also, wait until the potatoes are cooked to season them with salt. Once you’ve mastered crispy oven fries, you can stir up a caramelized mushroom sauce (on my next post) for homemade poutine. I found that the best way to cook almost anything in the oven (bread, cookies, you name it) is on parchment paper. If not too greasy, you can use the same sheet a number of times, just fold it and keep it for the next bake.

And, if using the paprika, get the real stuff from Spain, which is the smokiest.

Serves 2 hungry or 4 sides


• 3-4 medium Yukon gold potatoes (~1.5 lbs) • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika (optional) • pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Cut the potatoes in 1/4″ thick sticks. In a large bowl, gently mix the potatoes with the oil and paprika, if using. Lay on a parchment paper, making sure to spread potatoes evenly. Bake for 40-45 minutes, turning them around twice. Keep an eye on them.

The result is a crispy outside and a hot, fluffy inside. Drain the fries, salt them to taste, and enjoy!

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