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Subject: Flunked baked french fries.
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: Andy 
Date: Tue, 03 Oct 2006 19:07:29 -0500
--------
Decided to use up a few russet potatoes and cook up baked french fries. 
Never tried it before.

The potato cutter cut 3/8" fries very quickly. I put some partchment 
paper in a cookie sheet and sprayed it with Pam and dumped and arranged 
the fries. Placed in a 400 F. oven for about 40 minutes.

For the most part they were overcooked on the outside and soft or undone 
inside.

I didn't season them before or after.

I also didn't turn them over, just rattled the pan every 10 minutes or 
so. Any fries that touched during baking were very underdone.

The flavor was a little unremarkable.

I ate about five and called it a failure.

What a waste. I should've made mashed potatoes.

============================

From: Sheldon 
Date: 3 Oct 2006 17:43:13 -0700
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What's with this Pam pollution.. it's toxic... doncha own any butter.

Shedon Real

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From: sf
Date: Tue, 03 Oct 2006 20:30:41 -0700
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Sheldon wrote:
>What's with this Pam pollution.. it's toxic... doncha own any butter.

Real oil would be better.... only a couple of tablespoon or two for
the entire batch.  40 minutes is too long.  I don't time, I use my eye
sight to tell when they are done.  However my oven is hotter, the
fries stay in a shorter time and they aren't a mashed potato
substitute.

============================

From: aem 
Date: 3 Oct 2006 18:48:23 -0700
--------
Andy wrote:
> Decided to use up a few russet potatoes and cook up baked french fries.
> Never tried it before.

> What a waste. I should've made mashed potatoes.

Yeah, I don't think french fries are possible without frying.  The
frozen ones come already oiled and already salted and they're just
tolerable at best.

But you could have had roasted potato wedges:  cut russets into six
wedges, lengthwise, season with salt, pepper, herbs like thyme and
rosemary, and sprinkle with olive oil.  Into a hot oven until done.
They're quite good.    -aem

============================

From: Dan Abel 
Date: Tue, 03 Oct 2006 19:54:13 -0700
--------
aem wrote:
> But you could have had roasted potato wedges:  cut russets into six
> wedges, lengthwise, season with salt, pepper, herbs like thyme and
> rosemary, and sprinkle with olive oil.  Into a hot oven until done.
> They're quite good.    -aem

I love these.  I toss the wedges in a bowl with a little olive oil, some 
garlic and cracked rosemary.  Let the olive oil sit in the bowl with the 
spices and garlic while you cut the potatoes.  Discard garlic.  Put the 
wedges (with rosemary) on a baking sheet.  We put foil on to ease the 
cleanup.  We sprinkle with Tony Chacheres (seasoned salt) before cooking.

============================

From: Leonard Blaisdell 
Date: Wed, 04 Oct 2006 00:01:48 -0700
--------
Dan Abel wrote:
> I love these.  I toss the wedges in a bowl with a little olive oil, some 
> garlic and cracked rosemary.  Let the olive oil sit in the bowl with the 
> spices and garlic while you cut the potatoes.  Discard garlic.  Put the 
> wedges (with rosemary) on a baking sheet.  We put foil on to ease the 
> cleanup.  We sprinkle with Tony Chacheres (seasoned salt) before cooking.

I do essentially the same but with red and yukon golds. It never 
occurred to me to do it with russets. But I will now. I crush the 
garlic, and a lot of it into the olive oil. I don't discard it. It turns 
light brown and is delicious with the potatoes. I also use the foil for 
easy cleanup as you do.

============================

From: pseudogrim[at]yahoo.com
Date: 4 Oct 2006 00:55:06 -0700
--------
Those are all really good ideas, but I like a more spicy version. It's
central or south american; just add garlic, red pepper flakes, salt,
and I also like to add a little cilantro. Toss the potatoes and prepare
them like any of the other recipies. They're wonderful with stuffed
flank steak, or good 'ol B.B.Q.

============================

From: Andy 
Date: Wed, 04 Oct 2006 04:12:41 -0500
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pseudogrim said...
> Those are all really good ideas, but I like a more spicy version. It's
> central or south american; just add garlic, red pepper flakes, salt,
> and I also like to add a little cilantro. Toss the potatoes and prepare
> them like any of the other recipies. They're wonderful with stuffed
> flank steak, or good 'ol B.B.Q.

Just found this, this morning. Sounds like your dish.

http://www.tinyurl.com/p5sz3

============================

From: Gloria Puester 
Date: Wed, 04 Oct 2006 02:02:51 GMT
--------
Andy wrote:
> Decided to use up a few russet potatoes and cook up baked french fries. 
> Never tried it before.
> 
> The potato cutter cut 3/8" fries very quickly. I put some partchment 
> paper in a cookie sheet and sprayed it with Pam and dumped and arranged 
> the fries. Placed in a 400 F. oven for about 40 minutes.
> 
> For the most part they were overcooked on the outside and soft or undone 
> inside.

1. They were cut too small. I usually cut potatoes in half, then each 
half into 4 wedges for oven fries.

2. 400 deg. is too hot.  350 for ~45 minutes will cook them through w/o 
overcooking the outside.

3. Toss with your favorite oil, spread on baking sheet (I use aluminum 
foil) sprinkle with your favorite spice mix, and bake.

They don't taste like French fries, but they are really tasty.
Sweet potatoes are even better cooked the same way.

============================

From: barely perished 
Date: 3 Oct 2006 19:12:19 -0700
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Puester wrote:
> 2. 400 deg. is too hot.  350 for ~45 minutes will cook them through w/o
> overcooking the outside.

BS. 400 is too LOW. Try 450 for 20 min, turn, and go 10 mins more.

And skip the parchment/foil crap, unless you *don't* want carmelization
for some reason.

============================

From: mom0f4boys 
Date: 3 Oct 2006 20:06:03 -0700
--------
What's up with not seasoning?  Salt, pepper, a little garlic and oil
and one herb.... where were they? Lol

============================

From: pfoley 
Date: Wed, 04 Oct 2006 12:16:15 GMT
--------
mom0f4boys wrote:
> What's up with not seasoning?  Salt, pepper, a little garlic and oil
> and one herb.... where were they? Lol

Lawry's Seasoned Salt helps fries a lot also.

============================

From: Lou Decruss 
Date: Wed, 04 Oct 2006 11:57:22 -0500
--------
Andy wrote:
>Decided to use up a few russet potatoes and cook up baked french fries. 
>Never tried it before.

Andy,

I've tried oven fries a few times with less than acceptable results
myself.  I recently read a Cooks Illustrated article called "Ultimate
Oven Fries."    They tried many different variations and came up with
a recipe they liked.  They also tested several packaged brands which
failed. (LOL)  CI won't let me in as I'm not a member,  but I found
someone who paraphrased the recipe which follows.  The keys were
soaking in HOT water for just 10 minutes.  Use a very heavy baking
sheet. And bake 475 degrees.  Follow the directions exactly!   We're
moving so things are packed.  The magazine was easy to find.  If I
find the scanner I'll scan the whole article and send it to you.  But
for now this should do.  I've not tried this method but I will soon.

Lou  <---loves spuds

From here:

http://recipecircus.com/recipes/Kimberlyn/VEGETABLES/Ultimate_Oven_Fries.html

Source of Recipe

Cook's Illustrated Magazine
   

Recipe Introduction

These are the BEST oven fries I have ever tasted - the texture alone
makes them worth the little extra work and not having to clean up all
the spattered oil from the stove top MORE than makes up for the extra
work, too!

Make sure to use a heavy baking sheet for this recipe - it cooks at
very high heat. I find that a professional 1/2 sheet works best.

I think you could use a couple less tablespoons in the pan than they
call for.


List of Ingredients

    * 3 russet potatoes (about 8 oz. each), peeled
    * 5 T. vegetable or peanut oil
    * salt and pepper

Instructions

   1. Cut each potato lengthwise into 10-12 EVENLY sized wedges.
   2. Adjust oven rack to lowest position; heat oven to 475 degrees.
   3. Place potatoes in large bowl and cover w/ VERY hot tap water;
soak 10 minutes. Meanwhile, coat a 18"x12" heavy-duty rimmed baking
sheet with 4 T. oil and sprinkle evenly w/ 3/4 t. salt and 1/4 t.
pepper; set aside.
   4. Drain potatoes and THOROUGHLY dry. Rinse and wipe out bowl;
return potatoes to bowl and toss w/ remaining 1 T. oil. Arrange
potatoes in single layer on prepared baking sheet; cover tightly w/
foil and bake 5 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until
bottoms of potatoes are spotty golden brown, 15 - 20 miutnes, rotating
baking sheet after 10 minutes. Using emtal spatula and tongs., scrape
to loosen potatoes from pan, then flip each wedge, keeping potatoes in
single layer. Continue baking until fries are golden and crisp, 5 - 15
minutes longer, rotating pan as needed if fries are bowning unevenly.
   5. Transfer fries to second baking sheet (I just used the foil from
the earlier step) lined w/ paper towels to drain. Season w/ additional
salt and pepper to taste.

Final Comments
Serves 3 - 4.

============================

From: Andy 
Date: Wed, 04 Oct 2006 13:40:48 -0500
--------
Lou Decruss said...
> From here:
> 
> http://recipecircus.com/recipes/Kimberlyn/VEGETABLES/Ultimate_Oven_Fries.html 

Thanks Lou!

It appears that the best baked french fries use the wedge cut.

I don't have a sturday cookie sheet but have a few glass casserole 
dishes.

I'll try again tomorrow.

============================

From: Lou Decruss 
Date: Thu, 05 Oct 2006 13:57:06 -0500
--------
Andy wrote:
>It appears that the best baked french fries use the wedge cut.

I have it scanned.  Where do you want me to post it? You (like me)
have no addy.  Any idea of a group where it would be on topic?  It's a
worthwhile read.

============================

From: Andy 
Date: Thu, 05 Oct 2006 14:11:20 -0500
--------
Lou Decruss said...
> I have it scanned.  Where do you want me to post it? You (like me)
> have no addy.  Any idea of a group where it would be on topic?  It's a
> worthwhile read.

Lou,

Submit it to the rec.food.recipes newsgroup. For everone's benefit.

All the best,

Andy

============================

From: Lou Decruss
Date: Sat, 07 Oct 2006
--------
Binaries won't do well there.  LOL  I found a dead group with nothing
posted since 6-30.  Here's the Id's.  I scanned them at a high res so
they're pretty big files.  Let me know what you think when you get
them.  
 
md8fi2pd74klthvgfutk0blr2l4bmmc8nj@4ax.com
 
gg8fi2tgj48fdo3dhnecr3vl89iobbk4fj@4ax.com
 
Lou  

============================

From: Andy 
Date: Sat, 07 Oct 2006 09:42:19 -0500
--------
Lou,

Found your posts at the alt.binaries.snuh group. Looks like fun reading.

Baked French fries levated to an artform/science, from the initial brief 
glance!

I see the heavy duty cookie sheet makes a dramatic difference. I'm gonna 
have to shop for a good one. The one I have warps at odd angles during 
baking.

Thanks,

Andy

============================

From: Andy 
Date: Sat, 07 Oct 2006 10:06:03 -0500
--------
Andy said...
> Found your posts at the alt.binaries.snuh group. Looks like fun reading.
> 
> Baked French fries levated to an artform/science, from the initial brief 
> glance!

Lou,

A very good read!!! Lots of gems in the article. I can't imagine going 
through all the permutations Julia did to arrive at her "Ultimate Oven 
Fries" but I'm glad she did!

I'll definitely follow her techniques and recipe!

I bought a fresh bag of russetts this morning. Just need that industrial 
strength cookie sheet.

Many thanks,

Andy

============================

From: Lou Decruss 
Date: Mon, 09 Oct 2006 10:38:17 -0500
--------
Andy wrote:

>A very good read!!! Lots of gems in the article. I can't imagine going 
>through all the permutations Julia did to arrive at her "Ultimate Oven 
>Fries" but I'm glad she did!

I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as I did.  She sure did a lot of work!

>I'll definitely follow her techniques and recipe!

I was going to try them over the weekend, but New potatoes were on
sale.  5# for $.88.  So I made potato salad roughly following the
Emeril recipe I posted in another thread.  

>I bought a fresh bag of russetts this morning. Just need that industrial 
>strength cookie sheet.

I've used a thick jelly roll pan.  Now that I've got a better method
maybe they'll turn out better.

>Many thanks,

My pleasure.  BTW, Did you ever get the link to work?  I've got a
setting in my general preferences for how to interpret
"name@domainUrl"  I've got is set to prompt for action and it works
fine.  That group is still dead and it might come in handy if we ever
need to do this kind of thing again.    

>Andy

Lou

============================

From: Doug Weller 
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2006 13:12:45 +0100
--------
Andy wrote:
>I see the heavy duty cookie sheet makes a dramatic difference. I'm gonna 
>have to shop for a good one. The one I have warps at odd angles during 
>baking.

And evidently soaking. This recipe was written by someone who had read the
article:
http://www.ellorascave.com/newsletter/lj_0506.asp
Oven Fries with Rosemary

One potato per person
Rosemary leaves, fresh or dried
Kosher salt
Coarse-ground pepper (optional)
Virgin olive oil spray

Preheat oven to 475. Cut potatoes into French-fry strips and soak in cold
water for 10 minutes. Dry and spray with olive oil. Add rosemary, pepper
and kosher salt and toss together in a bowl. Spray a cookie sheet with
more olive oil and spread the fries out. Roast for 15-20 minutes, turning
once to brown more evenly.

============================

From: Peter Aitken 
Date: Fri, 06 Oct 2006 01:16:20 GMT
--------
I am coming in late to this thread because no one has pointed out the 
obvious. You *CANNOT* make French fries by baking. Period, end of story. 
You can certainly make very good potatoes by baking, but they are not 
fries. Why bother?

============================

From: Lou Decruss 
Date: Sat, 07 Oct 2006 08:36:39 -0500
--------
Peter Aitken wrote:
>I am coming in late to this thread because no one has pointed out the 
>obvious. You *CANNOT* make French fries by baking. Period, end of story. 
>You can certainly make very good potatoes by baking, but they are not 
>fries. Why bother?

I think it was pointed out.  I'll agree that you can't get the same
product as deep frying.   With the mess deep frying makes I usually do
it outside.  Even then clean up is a pita.  If there's a way to get
something closer than what I've done before I'd sure like to know
about it.  

============================

From: Andy 
Date: Sat, 07 Oct 2006 09:16:43 -0500
--------
Lou Decruss said...
> I think it was pointed out.  I'll agree that you can't get the same
> product as deep frying.   With the mess deep frying makes I usually do
> it outside.  Even then clean up is a pita.  If there's a way to get
> something closer than what I've done before I'd sure like to know
> about it.  

Lou,

I bought one of these at Sears:

http://tinyurl.com/fjda6

to replace my fry baby. I've had it since early Spring but have never 
used it! A dietary concern for the time being. Should've returned it, 
just that it's got a dial thermostat that I figured would give me better 
deep fat frying control, that AND it has a glass cover to keep the odor 
and mess contained. :(

I had good success making fish 'n' chips in the fry baby, alas...

Andy

============================

From: Lou Decruss 
Date: Mon, 09 Oct 2006 10:39:44 -0500
--------
Andy wrote:
>I bought one of these at Sears:
>
>http://tinyurl.com/fjda6

I have a model similar to that.  I think it's a West Bend.  It still
makes a mess and there is no way to eliminate the smell which lingers.
I will say the unit itself cleans up pretty easy.  It's not big or
powerful enough to maintain heat for more than a few pieces of
chicken.  It gets used more for fondue.  I went to a fondue party last
New Years Eve.  The hostess was inexperienced and didn't realize you
can't have too many forks in the oil on a little fondue pot.  I ran
home and got the deep fryer and it saved the party.  The meat would
have been unsafe to eat as long as it was taking to cook.  Everyone
was very impressed and "I" didn't have to clean up the mess.  LOL  

If I'm deep frying for more than just the two of us I prefer to the
burner from my turkey fryer and a 12 quart frying pot with basket.
With 175,000 btu it's easy to do about 8-10 pieces of chicken or a big
pile of fries.  But it is a pita to set up and not much fun in the
winter.     

>I had good success making fish 'n' chips in the fry baby, alas...

You're braver than me.  I tried fish in the house once and never
again.  It stinks forever.  I love fish, but I take the fryer outside
or in the garage.  

============================

From: Peter Aitken 
Date: Sat, 07 Oct 2006 15:09:18 GMT
--------
Lou Decruss says...
> I think it was pointed out.  I'll agree that you can't get the same
> product as deep frying.   With the mess deep frying makes I usually do
> it outside.  Even then clean up is a pita.  If there's a way to get
> something closer than what I've done before I'd sure like to know
> about it.  

I have been quite impressed with some of the OreIda frozen French fry 
products, which you bake. Not the same as real fresh-out-of-the-grease 
fries, but not bad at all.

============================

From: Andy 
Date: Sat, 07 Oct 2006 11:20:22 -0500
--------
Peter Aitken said...
> I have been quite impressed with some of the OreIda frozen French fry 
> products, which you bake. Not the same as real fresh-out-of-the-grease 
> fries, but not bad at all.

Without backup information, the frozen OreIda potatoe products are probably 
trans-fat or something-or-other unhealthier than ordinary deep-fat fried 
french fries.

============================

From: Lou Decruss 
Date: Mon, 09 Oct 2006 10:40:46 -0500
--------
Andy wrote:
>Without backup information, the frozen OreIda potatoe products are probably 
>trans-fat or something-or-other unhealthier than ordinary deep-fat fried 
>french fries.

I suspected they're actually par-fried.  A quick google turned up
this:

Lou

From here:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0813/is_n4_v18/ai_10844663

Unfortunately, most packages don't carry nutrition information, so
there's no way for consumers to tell the good from the bad.

 To get the best fries, stick to ones that are:

* Bigger. Most frozen fries are "par-fried" (deep fried for a minute
or two) before they're packaged. Par-frying gets rid of excess
moisture, but deposits a layer of oil on the surface. That's why the
bigger fries--which have less surface area per serving than the
smaller fries--end up with the least fat.

============================

From: firstlastmiddlemore[at]yahoo.com
Date: 9 Oct 2006 09:18:05 -0700
--------
Buy some frozen McCain Superfries.  Take a cheap baking sheet and put
some aluminum foil over it.  Pour a little vegetable oil onto the
sheet.  Bake at a higher than normal temperature for 20-25 minutes.

The fries end up super crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

I've tried using these fries in the deep fryer and they don't turn out
as well.

These are really good fries.

============================

From: Lou Decruss 
Date: Mon, 09 Oct 2006 11:40:16 -0500
--------
firstlastmiddlemore wrote:
>Buy some frozen McCain Superfries.

Who are you talking to?   

Since you use google you can't get to the Cooks Illustrated article I
posted for Andy.   CI said the test comments on McCain's ranged from
"bland" to "horrible." 

Lou <------wondering if maybe Wertz is right about google posters, but
trying to be patient.   

============================

From: firstlastmiddlemore[at]yahoo.com
Date: 9 Oct 2006 10:52:35 -0700
--------
I wasn't speaking to anyone in particular.  I was discussing the
general topic.

It's possible that I get my McCain super fries from a different source.

Having said that, in my experience, they turned out better than a lot
of deep fried products.

The secret is to put enough oil on the foil while cooking them on a
higher heat in the oven.

They really do turn out crispy on the outside and hot and steamy on the
inside.

How It's Made did an episode on them, and they deep fry the potatoes
for a few minutes before they freeze them.

Just because they're made in a large factory doesn't mean they aren't
good. Potato chips that you buy in the corner store come from a
factory, and yet with the right company the quality control is
excellent.


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