Serpent Player's Oven Fries Recipe

Click here for another recipe: Serpent Player's Maultaschen

(tasty spud slices for 6 snacking players)

6        red or russet potatoes, weighing about 6-8 oz each
10      tablespoons vegetable oil
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 475 ºF. Use a vegetable brush under running water to clean outside of potatoes; leave skin on (if you hate the skin, it can be removed). Cut each potato in half , then slice each half into thinner slices, about 6 per half. The slices can be straight down for slices of even thickness, or angled to get slices shaped like sections of an orange. Place all slices in a large bowl and cover with hot tap water. Set a timer for 10 minutes, and start preparing the baking sheets as described below.

Lay out two baking sheets (about 12" x 18", such as would be used for cookies, etc.), and put 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil onto each sheet. Spread oil evenly over surface of sheets, then evenly sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 3/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper over each sheet. Set sheets aside, and lay out paper towel on a table; the area should be about 3 sheets of towel, and there should be 3 - 4 layers of towel. When the timer goes off, drain water from potato slices, and place slices flat onto the paper towel. Use more towel to pat dry the tops of the slices.

Rinse the large bowl and dry. Put potato slices back into the bowl and add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Use two large spoons to 'toss' the slices, as with a green salad, until the oil completely covers all slices. Distribute slices between the two baking sheets, spreading them to cover the entire area of each sheet with some space between each slice. Use two sheets of aluminum foil to cover the sheets, one piece of foil per sheet (if only narrow foil is available, use two overlapping pieces of foil per sheet.) Make sure that the edges of the foil extend past the edges of the sheets, and fold the edges of the foil over the edges of the sheets to seal them.

Place baking sheets in oven, one sheet per oven rack. Bake for 5 minutes, then take sheets out from the oven and remove the foil. During this 5 minute period, water in the potato slices will cause the oil to splatter, and the foil will prevent the oil from getting all over in the oven.

Put baking sheets back into oven, and bake for about 8 minutes, rotate the baking sheets 90 degrees, and bake another 8 minutes. Remove baking sheets and flip the potato slices over; this can be done with tongs, a metal spatula, or a pair of forks or small spoons; do not puncture the slices with the tines of fork(s). Put baking sheets back into oven and bake for 6 minutes, rotate 90 degrees, and bake another 6 minutes. NOTE: Adjust these suggested baking times as required to get slices that are slightly darker than golden brown. Luckily, oven fries work well even over a large range from light brown to almost charred. While baking is happening, prepare another two baking sheets, or similar metal surfaces, by putting two layers of paper towel over them.

When last bake cycle is complete, remove baking sheets from oven, and applying the same tools that were used to flip the slices, move the slices to the new paper towel surface. Immediately sprinkle a small additional amount of salt and pepper over the slices before they dry. Serve. Slices should be slightly crisp, like the ends of French Fries.

Uneaten slices may be put in a plastic bag and refrigerated to be micro-waved later, although quality will suffer somewhat.

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Copyright Paul Schmidt 2005
revised February 2009