Monday, March 18, 2013

Cajun Fries

Freshman year of college, I was introduced to Louie's Lunch Truck, which was parked right outside of my dorm. I didn't go there v. often, but when I did, I'd get cajun fries. I thought they were just so amazing and I still get cravings for them. Every once in a while, I treat myself to fries (usually at Five Guys, since they have cajun fries) but I can't help but feel a little gross and guilty afterwards. I've made fries at home but it's messy and annoying and I never know what to do with the leftover fry oil. That's why I "invented" a way to bake fries in the oven that come out with a fried texture - meaning crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.

Ingredients [serves 4]:
4 potatoes (I prefer yukon gold for this process)
1 tablespoon cajun seasoning or cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

First, start by peeling and cutting the potatoes into fries. Then rinse them off in the sink and then place them in a big bowl to soak in cold water. Leave them alone for 10 minutes or so and then rinse them again and place in a new bowl of cold water to soak for another 10 minutes. This will help draw out a lot of the starch so that when the potatoes bake in the oven, they end up crispy, not limp. Once the potatoes are done soaking, drain them and pat them dry with a kitchen towel or paper towel, whatever floats your boat. Then, toss them with some olive oil, making sure each and every piece gets coated nicely, but isn't dripping.
Place the potatoes on a foil-lined baking pan (for easy clean up) and spread them out evenly. Use two or more pans to make sure the potatoes aren't overcrowded. You want them to be spread in a single layer with a bit of space between each piece. The air space between them will allow the hot air of the oven to travel around each fry to get it crisp and delicious. You might see that I also tossed a few garlic cloves with my fries; this is totally optional but the result is super delicious, if you'd like to do the same.

Put the potatoes in a 350 oven for 10 to 15 minutes until they start to get tender. Remove from the oven and toss them around with some tongs to make sure they cook well on all sides. Then turn up the oven to 500 and let them cook for about 2 more minutes until you start to see some golden brown action on the edges of each fry.
Remove from the oven and toss with the seasonings (I used sea salt, cajun seasoning, extra cayenne pepper, and black pepper). If you're not a fan of spicy fries, you can just toss with sea salt and black pepper - that's plenty delicious too.
Serve hot with a burger (I'll be sharing a new recipe tomorrow but you can also look at my previous burger posts, Italian and A1) or maybe some breaded fish for fish & chips or chicken fingers or just by themselves as a snack.
Here's the recipe page for you:
P.S. Bonus points (in terms of flavor, vitamins, and minerals) if you also throw in some sweet potato fries!

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