I have this rule, and maybe you do too: I will only eat a french fry if it is really worth it. Lackluster taters from the drive-thru window are not worth my time. Bags of fries do not get a second glance as I maneuver my cart through the grocery store’s freezer aisle. Limp deli fries encroaching on my lunch-hour sandwich? No thanks. But show me a basket piled high with hand-cut, freshly fried, intensely seasoned garlic Parmesan fries and I feel weak in the knees.
I used to think there was a top-secret formula for salty, savory garlic Parmesan fries only distributed to restaurant chefs (and there might be), but I’m here to show you that with a handful of good-quality ingredients and a few strategic steps you too can serve restaurant-quality garlic Parmesan fries from the comfort of your own home.
The key to homemade, baked garlic Parmesan fries is a simple two-step cooking process. After slicing your potatoes to size, blanch them in salted water for a few minutes to start the cooking process. Par-cooking the fries is an essential step that should not be skipped; it is how oven-baked fries get a crisp crust with a light, fluffy interior. A quick dip in an ice bath stops the cooking process.
1 tablespoon garlic, minced very fine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large (russet) baking potatoes, 12 ounces each or 1½ pounds total
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line 1 baking sheet with foil and coat baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Cut the potatoes lengthwise in half and in half again. Cut each piece into ¼-½ inch thick strips. Place on the baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and garlic. Use your hands to evenly coat. Spread the potatoes evenly over the entire pan. Season with a little salt and black pepper. Bake uncovered in the center of the oven until tender crisp and golden brown, about 20-25 minutes on each side. Baking time will vary depending on how thick your pieces are and your oven. Set your timer for 20 minutes and check.
3. Remove from oven and sprinkle all over with Parmesan cheese and a little garlic powder. Add a little more salt and pepper, if desired.
Makes 5 servings. Each serving about 1⅓ cups. (Makes 6 cups total)