Crispy fries are the holy grail of potatoes – steamy hot and golden brown, crispy on the outside and tender in the middle. Starting on Day 325 in 2006 (don't bother, but there you go), I've tried a half dozen recipes, all disappointing. And when you limit your carbs, on those rare occasions when you choose to eat potatoes, they'd darn-better be worth eating!
The recipe was inspired by St. Louis' "Beer Guy" aka Evan Benn of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The headline read, "Beer-soaked 'fries' are baked to crispy perfection". This sounded ever-so-promising!
Evan's a beer guy so natch, he tested the recipe with different beers and had great luck with pilsners, Belgian-style ales, India pale ales, saisons and more. Me, I'm the veggie evangelist so natch, I tested the recipe with russet potatoes (excellent!) and sweet potatoes (tasty but not crispy) and the low-carb turnip (tasty but decidedly limp).
But for baked French 'fries'? These are completely crispy – and for a low-carb eater who intentionally veers off track occasionally, completely worth the splurge.
RECIPE for BEER-SOAKED CRISPY BAKED FRIES
Time to table: 90 minutes
1 pound russet potatoes, skins scrubbed
Beer to cover
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
To serve, a scattering of salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Cut potatoes into "potato sticks". How? Slice the potatoes lengthwise about 1/3 inch thick. Separate potato into two stacks, cut-sides down. Cut lengthwise again, forming "sticks". Arrange potatoes in a shallow container, keeping the sticks separate and in a single layer. Pour beer over top, enough to cover. Let rest for 15 - 20 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Lift potatoes out into a colander to drain. Transfer to a large bowl, add oil, salt and pepper. With your hands, get in there and distribute the oil and seasoning throughout the potatoes, making sure that all the sticks are touched with oil. Arrange in a single layer on the parchment.
Bake for about 50 minutes, stirring halfway through and then every five minutes. Sprinkle with additional salt, serve hot.
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