As a member of Recipe ReDux, the goal this month was to grab a book and cook. But not just any recipe; it needed to be chosen from page 42 or 142 in the book—to celebrate the 42 months that ReDux has been around! So I picked a cookbook that I thought was sure to have something decadent in it: Potatoes: Comfort Food by Jane Stacey (Smallwood & Stewart, Inc., 1997). What did I find on page 42? A recipe for “The Perfect French Fries!”
Of course, I had to work my makeover magic on the recipe. I didn’t just spritz the potato slices with cooking spray, bake ’em, and call it a day. My goal was to create a French fry recipe that everyone would want to make again and again—and, perhaps more importantly, not make you (or me!) want to dunk them in mayo to make them amazing. The result: “Fitter French Fries.” Check the recipe out!
Calories saved: 200
Why it’s better for you? Added a delicious hint of antioxidant benefits by keeping on the potato peels and sprinkling with several spices.
- 4 small-medium russet potatoes, unpeeled and scrubbed (about 5 1/2 ounces each)
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
- 1 tablespoon unrefined peanut oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons malt vinegar or unfiltered cider vinegar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Smidgen of ground cinnamon (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 475°F. Cut each potato into 3 slices lengthwise, creating wide oval pieces. Then cut each of the pieces into 6 lengthwise slices, making 18 strips per each whole potato. Add the potato strips to a large bowl or container with a lid. Add the oils and vinegar, cover, and toss well to fully coat.
- Stir together the garlic powder, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, the cayenne, and (if using) cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle onto the potatoes, cover, and toss to coat.
- Arrange the fries in a single layer on an unbleached parchment paper-lined large baking sheet. Bake until browned, about 30 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the cooking process.
- Sprinkle with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste. Serve immediately.
Per serving: 190 calories, 7g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 370mg sodium, 29g total carbohydrate, 2g dietary fiber, 1g sugars, 4g protein
The “Before” Version
Inspired by: “The Perfect French Fries” from Potatoes: Comfort Food, by Jane Stacey (Smallwood & Stewart, Inc., 1997), p. 40-42
Per serving (estimated): 390 calories, 18g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 380mg sodium, 53g total carbohydrate, 5g dietary fiber, 2g sugars, 5g protein
- Keep the potato skin on the potatoes for more nutrients, fiber, texture, and eye appeal. Be sure to scrub potatoes well first.
- When making “fries” in the oven, don’t go too low on oil; use just enough to create richness. And consider using an oil that imparts flavor, such as unrefined peanut oil.
- Go for extra flavor! Add spices that you like, such as garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, and even a hint of cinnamon. Toss with a splash of malt vinegar or unfiltered apple cider vinegar for flavor balance.
- Don’t forget the salt. But do plan for it so you can enjoy the fries without worry.