A few years back, I read a newspaper article ridiculing “the low fat craze of the early ‘90’s.” This was in a paper that had been running low fat recipes — it seemed to me anyway — just a few months earlier. Of course the “don’t get more than 20% of your calories from fat if you want to get anywhere near good health, let alone a healthy weight” didn’t last long before growing more complicated — there was good fat and bad fat, it seemed. Most people stopped paying attention at that point.
It got even weirder after that. There was a fad diet where you (allegedly) lost weight by eating high fat foods like whipped cream. Or maybe I’m just imagining that? And most sources agreed that it was possible to get too much dietary fat. Anyway, it was a confusing issue.
A couple of things are for sure: The less fat you use, the less it costs you. Especially if you’re using the “good” fats like olive oil. Even canola oil, made from stuff that grows within a few hundred miles of my home, isn’t exactly cheap. And the less fat you use in cooking, the less risk you run of crossing the line into food that’s just plain greasy. (I remember telling an ESL class that food with just enough fat was called “moist” instead.)
Anyway, somewhere in there I started making oven fries, inspired by a recipe in a magazine now long gone. They’re easier and more economical than homemade French fries, fresher than the frozen French fries you heat up, and they’re probably healthier than either, also. They’re very tasty in their own way, crispy outside and tender inside. Someone tasting them for the first time even asked me if they were deep fried.
This is a very basic version. You can add any seasoning that you think would go with the potatoes — just start with small amounts till you figure out what’s right.
- 4 medium potatoes
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Wash the potatoes, but don’t peel, and cut into four long wedges each.
- Mix the oil and salt in a small bowl (but large enough to hold a potato wedge).
- Dry the potatoes so the oil will stick, and toss them in the oil mixture till coated.
- Place them, one cut side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet.
- Bake at 400℉ for 45 minutes, turning over onto the other cut side after 25 minutes.