Saturday, October 18, 2008

Spicy BBQ French Fries

Mandolin Slicer
(Photo courtesy of CookwareCoupons.com)

Some say "great minds think alike." Right around the time I decided to cash in some bank card rewards points for a Metro 7-in-1 Mandolin Slicer, my friend Cory over at Zesty Cook posted a recipe for Healthy Homemade French Fries prepared with the aid of a mandolin! So when my mandolin arrived yesterday, I couldn't wait to try it out when making my own French fry recipe and to use some tips I learned from Cory.


Product review: The blade I wanted to use was very easy to insert and it snapped into place without any problem. And, I tested whether the slicer would, indeed, "fit snugly" over 7- to 9.5-inch bowl rims. It did. However, that's where the list of positives ended. Because I wanted to slice the potato lengthwise, the potato would not fit firmly into the food holder/food guard. The tiny plastic prongs barely penetrated the potato and it kept slipping out. Also, I gave up on trying to slice the potato into a bowl because I could not get the proper leverage needed to move the potato back and forth over the blades without risking slicing my fingers as well. I attribute this to my being on the short side and not necessarily to a problem with the product. I eventually gave up and just used the mandolin on the surface of a cutting board. So, I'll say the initial run with the mandolin was shaky at best. I have a feeling it'll just take me some time to get used to it before I can zip-zip with the slicing of vegetables.
Now, I jazzed up my French fries with a bit of spice and a bit of heat. But you can put whatever spices or herbs you want on them to suit your own tastes. That's what's so great about a recipe like this -- the method of preparation stays constant while the combination of ingredients can be changed any number of ways based on personal preference! Also, I made enough just for me, so multiply the recipe as needed.

What's your favorite way to prepare and/or to eat French fries? Are you a dipper? If so, what do you like to dip your fries in? Based on the ingredients in this recipe, I bet you can guess how I like to eat mine!


Spicy BBQ French Fries
Printable Recipe
INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large russet potato
  • 1 tablespoon spicy barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Peel and wash the potato. Slice the potato lengthwise into uniform strips, either with a mandolin or your knife. Place the slices into a bowl of cold water and leave to soak for 20 minutes.
  2. While the potatoes are soaking, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  3. Drain the potatoes and pat completely dry.
  4. In a medium bowl, toss potatoes with barbecue sauce, olive oil, and cayenne pepper. Taste a bit of the sauce before adding salt and pepper and only add if desired.
  5. Spread the potatoes out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, turning every ten minutes to ensure even crisping.
  6. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce!
Food Tip: This food tip comes from Cory at Zesty Cook. Allowing the potatoes to soak in water before baking will help release some of the starch. After soaking, it is essential to dry the potatoes off completely, removing as much water from the surface as possible. Water on the surface will cause the potatoes to steam rather than crisp, so if you want crispy oven-baked French fries that taste like they've been fried, this is the way to go. Thanks, Cory!

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