Thursday, October 16, 2014

Parmesan-Truffle Oven Fries

Parmesan-Truffle Oven Fries

When it comes to eating French fries, I am admittedly kind of a snob.  I like them to be hand-cut, nice and crispy, and really salty… almost bordering on too salty.  When I come across fries that meet my trifecta, I am pretty much powerless against them.  Can't.  Stop. I don't order fries that often in restaurants, but I always make sure to test a few of Joey's.  Much to his annoyance.  Joey doesn't share food! (can't ever help myself from making a Friend's reference).

And this might put me in the "weirdo" category, but I don't like ketchup on my perfectly cooked and salty fries.  The ketchup dilutes the perfection of the fries and is totally unnecessary.  Sorry ketchup-fiends.  And don't even try putting a cup of mayo down for dipping.  Gag.

However, I will partake in fries that are alternatively seasoned.  Such as say… a parmesan-truffle fry, perhaps?  Yes and yes.

Parmesan-truffle fries have been popping up on the menus of trendy pubs and restaurants for the past several years, and I'm pretty much always going to order them if they're available.  I throw out my "fry trifecta" rule for these fries because…. parmesan.  and truffles.  They are decadent, earthy, salty, and cheesy.  Love at first bite.  Or whiff.  Because is there a smell that's more enticing than that of truffles?

So naturally I set out to make parmesan-truffle fries at home.  I prefer to make oven fries when I'm cooking at home, and to be able to make them slightly healthier was definitely a bonus.

The fries are cooked in a mixture of vegetable oil and truffle oil; so the truffles aren't overwhelming, just a nice background flavor.  A healthy sprinkle of parmesan cheese after cooking finishes them off, and there you have it.  Gourmet fries at home.

I made these alongside what is probably the most amazing Philly Cheesesteak sandwich ever (it had short ribs, omg.  Will be sharing soon).  And Joey asked me to marry him all over again.  Good thing too.  Because I need to keep stealing his French fries.

Parmesan-Truffle Oven Fries
adapted from Cook's Illustrated's Oven Fries

This method is how I always cook oven fries.  So whether you want the Parm-truffle variety (which you should) or you're going basic, this preparation is by far the best one I've ever come across.

  • 3 russet potoates (about 8-12 oz each)
  • 3 Tbs truffle oil*
  • 2 Tbs vegetable oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese, for serving
  • freshly snipped chives, for serving
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees and adjust the oven rack to the lowest position.

Peel the potatoes, halve them lengthwise, then cut each half into 4-6 even wedges.

Place the potato wedges in a large bowl filled with hot tap water.  Soak for 10 minutes, then drain and dry on a lint-free kitchen towel (or a double layer of paper towels).  Pat thoroughly with another towel to dry completely.  Toss with 1 tablespoon of the truffle oil.

Meanwhile, coat a large rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of truffle oil and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, using a pastry brush to cover the entire pan with the oil.  Sprinkle evenly with 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.

Arrange the potato wedges in a single layer on the baking sheet.  Sprinkle lightly with salt.  Cover tightly with foil and bake 5 minutes.

Remove the foil and continue to bake until the bottoms of the poatoes are spotty golden brown, an additional 15 to 20 minutes.

Using a spatula and a pair of tongs, flip the potatoes, keeping them in a single layer.  Return to the oven and bake until the fries are golden-brown and crisp, 5 to 15 minutes longer, rotating the pan as needed if the fries are browning unevenly.

Transfer the fries to another sheet of paper towels or a kitchen towel to drain the excess oil.  Sprinkle with more salt to taste and toss to combine.  Before serving, sprinkle generously with freshly grated parmesan cheese and freshly-snipped chives.

*In my experience, the intensity of truffle oils vary by brand, and by age.  So if your bottle of truffle oil isn't very strongly scented, I'd recommend using 4 Tablespoons of truffle oil and 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil.  If your oil is very fresh and fragrant, stick to 3 tablespoons.


Josie said...

I never thought I was a fries snob. But after reading your definition I must be. I am not going to waste my calories on menial fries. So these are over the top and baked to boot----takes some of the sting out----without losing any of the yum factor.

Josie said...

Good oven fries can cure any woe. These sound perfect.

Josie said...

I'm with you....I never order fries, but I am happy to steal some from the person next to me! Usually the.boy. Though I might make a batch of these and eat them all myself because he's not super into truffle. His loss.

Josie said...

I was going to write a comment about how what you listed is my fry trifecta, too, but then I remembered the first time we ever met. We had fries together that day! And now I just miss you and wish we could have fries (and wine) together right now.

Josie said...

I have a weakness for potatoes. Add truffle and I'm toast. These look delicious!

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