Perfect “No Fry” Oven French Fries

Processed with VSCO with  presetWho doesn’t love french fries? They’re the epitome of comfort food. Carby, crispy yet chewy, salty… and they just make you feel good.

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I have been working on this french fry recipe for a while. I’ve been trying to figure out how to make the perfect french fries at home. Some recipes require you to soak the potatoes, then deep fry them, and then fry them a second time… No one wants to have to go through all that work (and no one wants to have to use all that oil).

Processed with VSCO with  presetAfter months of trial and error I’ve come up with what I believe is a great oven french fry recipe that uses simple ingredients and lets the oven do most of the work.

Processed with VSCO with  presetThe MOST IMPORTANT “tool” you need for this recipe is a cooling rack. The cooling rack is the secret. It’s how you get a soft chewy interior without over cooking and burning the outside of the fry. If you don’t have a cooling rack, don’t attempt the recipe until you get one. They’re cheap and every home cook should have at least one (CLICK HERE to order from Amazon).

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The Ingredients are Simple:

  • The quintessential potato – the russet potato. They’re cheap, easy to find, and they last a long time in the pantry.
  • Olive Oil – I use regular olive oil NOT extra virgin. If you don’t have olive oil you can use vegetable oil or canola oil… but personally the recipe turned out best with plain olive oil.
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese – yes, the kind in the plastic container with the green lid.
  • Salt and Pepper – Basics of all flavoring.

 

Perfect Oven French Fries

Servings: 2

Difficulty: Easy

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Foolproof recipe for perfect oven french fries. Setting a cooling rack on top of a sheet pan is the trick for a crispy inside and a soft and chewy inside. 

 

Ingredients

  • 2 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed clean and dried
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Place a cooling rack on top of an extra large sheet pan.
  3. Cut russet potatoes to a 1/4 inch matchstick.
  4. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil. 
  5. Place the cut potatoes on the cooling rack set on top of a sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the potatoes from the oven and put back in the bowl.
  7. Increase the oven temperature to 450 F.
  8. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper to the fries and gently toss to combine. 
  9. Remove the cooling rack from atop the sheet pan and place the fries directly on the sheet pan. Fries should be in a single layer, it’s okay to use two sheet pans if needed for this step. 
  10. Once the oven temperature reaches 450 F place the fries back in the oven for 15 minutes, flipping halfway through. 
  11. Once baked, toss with the grated parmesan cheese and additional salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Serve HOT!

 

$10 Weekday Gourmet: Amazing chicken recipe from fridge to table in less than 45 minutes (Serves 4-6)

If you know me well you know that one of my favorite words is “cheap”… not in the sense that I like low quality things. I’m actually quite the opposite. I tend to like very high quality things (food, clothing, jewelry, vacations) but I do my best to acquire these things at cheaper prices than most people would pay.

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My approach to food is no different. I love dining out at high quality and highly recommended restaurants. But I’ll be honest. I can’t afford to eat out every night and honestly, I don’t think I’d want to. I like cooking way to much and after a long day of work, it’s sometimes nice to just chill at home.

I think most people are like me. People want food that tastes a good as possible, as quickly as possible, and as cheaply as possible. I want to start sharing some recipes that I’ve found that have allowed me to do just that!

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As I’m writing this post, I’m sitting here eating a meal that I’ve made TWICE (yes, I said it, twice) in the last week. The Sheet Pan Chicken and Mushrooms with Parsley Sauce recipe by Food & Wine has been my favorite and I wanted to share this meal and recipe with you. I have a few suggestions for how to make this recipe as quickly and cheaply as possible and the best side dishes to pair it with.

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This recipe is delicious and it really is easy. The parsley sauce combined with the roasted lemons is a match made in heaven…. And yes, you heard that right. you CAN eat roasted lemons. Skin and all. Just make sure you slice them thin and remove any seeds.

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I’ve been blessed to live in a town where I have an abundance of grocery stores that are all pretty close together. My husband and I try to stick to a strict budget of about $70 a week for ALL our groceries. We eat at home at least 5 nights a week and I bring my lunch to work from home as well…. All that to say is that we have quite a few meals to make with a relatively small budget. I have to take advantage of all the stores in the area to create delicious meals without going over budget. I’d honestly rather save money on food and put some of our savings in our vacation fund.

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For this recipe we did our shopping at Nam Dae Mun Farmers Market in Smyrna, Georgia. I warn you, you can get some great deals here but the shopping experience is always an… experience. But again, for me, it’s worth it for the savings.

I spent $8.13 plus tax for most of the recipe ingredients (I had garlic, olive oil, and red wine vinegar in my pantry).

  • 6 boneless/skinless chicken thighs: $3.95
  • 1 Bunch of Parsley: $0.69
  • 16 oz of White Mushrooms: $2.49 (This is cheaper than the mushrooms suggested in the original recipe)
  • 1 Lemon: $1.00

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Tonight I paired this recipe with mashed potatoes. The first time I made it I served it with Garlic Quinoa and broccoli (we always have quinoa in the pantry and broccoli in the freezer). Regardless, I suggest serving with a carbohydrate  and a green veggie.

 

My steps for getting this recipe plus two side dishes on the table in less than 45 minutes.

Step 1: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a large heavy sheet pan in the oven to preheat as well.

Step 2: Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Step 3: Place chicken and olive oil on the preheated pan and let roast for 5 minutes.

Step 4: Cut mushrooms and lemons while chicken is roasting. Toss with olive oil.

Step 5: Add mushrooms and lemons to pan with chicken and allow to roast for 30 additional minutes.

Step 6: Prepare quinoa as outlined on package. I suggest cooking in chicken broth instead of water.

Step 7. Chop parsley and garlic and mix all ingredients for the sauce.

Step 8: Cook broccoli as desired when there’s just 5 minutes left for the chicken to roast (microwave or stove top with salt and pepper is easiest).

Step 9. Serve and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! To find the recipe for Sheet Pan Chicken and Mushrooms with Parsley Sauce please CLICK HERE.

Enjoy!

Rice Bowls Part 1: Easy Sushi Bowls

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My sister introduced me to what I like call American Style Sushi while I was still in high school. She and her then boyfriend took me to a little hole in the wall spot and ordered me a tempura fried shrimp roll. I wasn’t too excited to try my sisters new favorite style of food, but because I love eating, I was up for the challenge. I’ll admit it, the shrimp tempura roll my sister ordered for me was tasty, but I didn’t really eat much sushi again until I went to college.

We love sushi in our home now. William began eating sushi in college as well and l and I’m pretty sure he and I went on a few cheap dates to sushi before we actually had any steady income or real jobs (it was the only thing we could afford in college besides free pizza and McDonalds). We’ve been eating sushi so much lately that my husband and I have officially transitioned from “Taco Tuesday” to “Sushi Wednesday” for our weekly date night. We love everything about American style sushi: the rice, the fish, the spicy mayo, crunchies, the artificially colored wasabi, and the flash fried rolls…. oh, and who could forget the crispy calamari.

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As I’ve mentioned so many times and that I’m sure I will mention again, my husband loves seafood and basically asks me to cook it every single day. One day last week as we were both heading out to work I asked him what he wanted for dinner and he replied with, “Something fishy.” In most cases when my husband asks for seafood I throw together a seafood pasta or cook an easy salmon dish but this time I knew I was going to go all out. Lately I’ve been ordering sashimi and our local sushi joint and I wanted to surprise William with sashimi sushi bowls for dinner that night!

Challenge accepted! I was going to make an amazing sushi bowl that would make even our sushi master jealous.

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The inspiration for my sushi bowl came form a few different places. Recently my sister texted me a photo of a sashimi bowl she had at a restaurant in Jacksonville, she’d also made sashimi bowls at her house earlier that week so I knew she’d be able to give me some good advice. I pulled inspiration from the bibimbap I had at Takorea, and last but not least I was inspired by the sashimi plate I’d been ordering lately at our favorite seafood sushi spot, Kuroshio!

Today I’m going to provide you with two (that’s right, two) recipes. The first is a recipe for Salmon Poki Sashimi, and the second is for Sticky Sushi Rice. These are the only components of the bowl that actually took any work to prepare, the other aspects of the dish were pretty simple.

sashimi

The key to making delicious Salmon Poki Sashimi is to start with a beautiful pice of (sushi grade*) Salmon Fillet with the skin removed. A beautiful piece of salmon has a beautiful pinkish-orange hue to it, has a nice fatty texture, and, well… it just looks beautiful. My recipe combines salmon, toasted sesame seed oil, low sodium soy sauce, toasted sesame seeds, and crushed red pepper. All of the ingredients are combined with the fish and set to marinate for a few hours before serving.

The sushi rice is pretty simple. I buy a medium grain rice and cook it according to the directions. After it’s cooked I add in a little seasoned rice wine vinegar and it’s good to go!

***If you don’t use sushi grade fish be sure you’re aware of the potential health risks of eating raw fish. Cubed and Sautéed salmon tastes amazing in this dish as well. 

fishskin

The Crispy Salmon Skin “Bacon” is made with the skin that you remove from your fillet. The skin is coated with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and toasted sesame oil and baked until crispy. The “bacon” adds a salty and crispy texture to the bowl and it tastes absolutely delicious.

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The fun thing about “bowls” is that you can make them your own. In addition to the salmon, rice, and salmon skin “bacon” I added the following to my bowls:

cucumber seamas

1.5 lbs salmon in combination with the rice and other ingredients serves 4.

These bowls were very filling and a hit with my husband and I’m pretty sure I’ll be adding this to the rotation of our favorite meals. Try the bowls out for yourself and let me know if you come up with any other fun bowl combinations!

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