*Last year, we opened 2014 with buttermilk biscuits. This year, we begin with french fries! Recognize a pattern? Yep, January’s a month that’s just begging for comfort food (despite your best resolutions) so get ready for classic, delicious recipes all month long!
French fries are one of the (many) things that I can’t really be left alone with. One nibble turns into another, the ketchup needs to be used up…before I know it, I’ll have eaten more than enough of my share.
That’s one of the reasons why I love oven fries: even when I eat more than I planned to, the fact that they aren’t fried makes me feel a little less guilty, and despite their lack of a literal bath in oil, these fries are crispy, moist and superbly flavorful, thanks to a quick boil in water.
I got the inspiration from these fries from Basil, an innovative dairy restaurant in Brooklyn that makes wonderful fresh pastas and a tiramisu with homemade mascarpone that’s just divine. But it’s their fries that they’re famous for: covered in Parmesan and served with a little dish of truffle mayo, they’re as addictive as can be, and the first thing anyone orders.
These fries, while baked, still retain all of the flavor of the original, and are only made better by the earthy, garlicky aioli. Serve these with a little ramekin full of mayo and another one full of parmesan- people won’t be able to stop dipping!
Yields: 4 servings and 3 cups of aioli (you will have extra)
Why I love this recipe: bringing the fries to a quick boil in water prior to baking them locks in moisture and baking them on a high heat ensures that they’re perfectly crispy. The delightfully simple aioli will transform just about anything you dip into it, including, but not limited to, these fries.
For the parmesan fries:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1½ pounds peeled Yukon Gold potatoes
- Coarse salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- pinch of fresh, ground parsley
- 1/4 cup ground parmesan cheese
For the garlic and truffle aioli:
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 whole egg
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1½ cups canola oil
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup truffle oil
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon roasted garlic
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Slice the potatoes into ⅜-inch-thick matchsticks (I used my food processor, with a special french fry blade, for this.)
- Transfer them to a pot, and cover them with cold water. Bring the potatoes to a simmer, and let them cook until they are halfway done, about 5 minutes. Carefully drain them and pat them dry on paper towels.
- Set the prepared baking sheet in the oven before you drain the potatoes, and let it heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the baking sheet with a pot holder.
- Spread the fries on sheet. Drizzle them with remaining tablespoon olive oil; sprinkle with coarse salt, parsley and freshly ground black pepper.
- Bake them for 45 minutes, tossing the tray about to redistribute every 10 minutes or so. Broil for a few minutes on high at the end, if desired.
- Remove the tray from the oven, then toss the fries in extra salt and pepper, if needed. Toss with Parmesan while still hot.
- Prepare the aioli: in a food processor, combine egg yolks, egg, lemon juice, and vinegar. Blend for 30 seconds.
- Add canola oil in a slow stream while blending; blend until emulsified. Add salt and pepper. Continue to blend while adding olive oil in a slow stream. Finally, slowly add in truffle oil while blending. Add roasted garlic.
- Serve truffle mayonnaise in a ramekin alongside fries.