Oven Fried potatoes (Patate Fritte nel forno)
Let me just say it, there is no such thing as Oven Fried. This term confuses me. I thought "to fry" meant to be submerged in oil right on top of your stove? I see that it's a term used quite readily when we refer to something that looks "fried," due to it's color. My husband and I got into a major discussion over this concept. Why don't we just fry it in sizzling hot oil and enjoy it? Truth be told, I prefer the oven method, cuts down on the mess, the smell, etc. With other things going on the stove top tonight, this was a great idea. I served it with a little Basil cream. Recipe to follow. I like to make my own Mayonnaise, but that would be another discussion.
Set the timer to one hour and the potatoes are ready. How easy is that?
Ingredients: I like to use red potatoes. Mine were small. I used about a pound an a half, enough to fill a large baking sheet, Sliced thin.
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons of pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
one smashed garlic clove (to be removed after baking)
Large baking sheet (cookie sheet is fine)
Plenty of fresh Rosemary. If you are using a Tuscan blue, leave it on it's stem, do not chop it up. This is so you can remove the stems from your pan after the potatoes are cooked. You will have plenty of flavor. Keep some extra on hand for serving.
Method: Fill your bowl with cold water (about 3/4 full)
slice your potatoes thin for french fries. Mine were quite short, but that is because of the red potatoes size
Give them a mix in the cold water. Let stand in cold water for 10 minutes. You will notice the water turning a pale white. The starchier the potato, the more profound the color will be. Red potatoes are not as starchy some other varieties, so you just might get a slight change in color. That is fine. Drain and dry your potatoes well with a dish towel to remove all the residue and place on your baking sheet.
Preheat your oven to bake/425 degrees F.
Add two tablespoons of olive oil (yes, I said two), salt, pepper, plenty of fresh rosemary and toss with your hands. This is typically what is done in a farmhouse kitchen. The cook would use her bare hands (Your best tools). Use gloves if this concept bothers you or a big spoon.
Assemble them in single file. Do not worry if they are not even just arrange in a single layer.
Bake for about 30 minutes and give the pan a shake. 30 minutes more until Golden and crispy. Discard your darkened Rosemary springs and your garlic clove. I like to keep my garlic clove on the bottom of my serving bowl, smells heavenly. In Italy, they are really called Patate al Forno. SSShhh, don't tell my husband he won the arguement!~ Buon Appetito!
Basil cream: One cup home-made or your favorite Mayonnaise.
a good handful of fresh basil leaves washed and cut thinly. I like to see my basil in my cream.
A squeeze of lemon juice
A pinch of garlic paste (to taste)
Mix and serve next to your potatoes. I prefer a little on my Fish.