Oven fries recipe from the Cook's Illustrated cookbook, Perfect Vegetables.
4 large russet potatoes (or 6 small), scrubbed and cut into ½” x ½” lengths
5 tsp peanut or vegetable oil, divided
Salt and pepper
Rinse cut fries in a large bowl or colander under cold running water until water runs clear.
Put ½ tsp of the oil on each of two rimmed baking sheets. Spread the oil evenly over the entire surface. Place both sheets in the oven and preheat oven to 450°.
Fit a large pot with a steamer basket and fill pot with enough water to reach just below the bottom of the basket. Bring water to a boil over high heat and add the potatoes to the basket. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the pot and spread them out in a single layer on clean kitchen towels. Pat the potatoes dry.
Toss the potatoes and the remaining 4 tsp oil in a large bowl to coat. Season liberally with salt and pepper and toss again. Remove one baking sheet from the oven and place half the potaotes on the sheet, cut side down, so they are spread out and not touching each other. Place the baking sheet back into the oven and repeat with the second pan.
Bake until the potatoes are golden brown and have begun to puff, about 25 to 30 minutes. Halfway through cooking, flip the fries over to the other cut side and reverse the baking sheets (from top to bottom). Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
These are really good. They got super brown and crispy, but were still soft and fluffy on the inside, perfect! That's why you have to steam them first. It may sound complicated, but it really isn't. The original recipe didn't say to flip the fries over halfway through baking, but when I checked on them to switch the pans, I noticed that the side touching the pan was getting really brown, so if I hadn't flipped them, I think they would have burned on one side and been pale on the other. They were perfect this way. I'll definitely be making these again.