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Oven "fries" -- mmmmm

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
You know: peel the veg, if you want to; cut into battonets (french fry cutter plate for food processor works well for some vegs); toss with a little oil, S&P, spread out on a baking sheet; and bake in a hot oven (around 425F/220C), turning over once or twice, until browned and crisp.

I've been doing them with unpeeled baking potatoes for ages. The other night I did them with peeled, cored parsnips (glazed with a balsamic vinegar-minced rosemary mixture for the last few minutes; thank you, Jack Bishop, Vegetables Every Day), and they were soooooooooo good. A bit crisp in the thin parts, chewy in the thicker parts, and concentrated sweetness.

I'm thinking this might solve the problems of sweet potato fries (general limpness, sometime oiliness, blah flavor).

Do you do this with other vegs?
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #2 of 7
Yes, I do it with other vegetables -- parsnips, sweet potatoes, anything which won't go limp.

However, I think batonnet (1/4" x 1/4" by 2-1/2") is too thin for this type of cooking -- especially with potatoes. Cut too thin, and you get something too much like crisps with no fluffy goodness inside. In other words, not enough like frites. You can get away with the thin cut in a deep fryer or even in a pan, but not in the oven.

FWIW, I usually cut at around 1cm (~4/10") across and about 5cm (~2") long (1/4" approximately equals 6mm, 2-1/2" is about 7cm).

Tip: You can guage your cut sizes quite accurately by the rivets on your knives, the width of the spine, and the width and length of the handle. Measure those once, and it will make mastering the classic "cuts" a lot easier.

BDL
post #3 of 7
hmm, these sounds so very yummy. I never tried these tho, could you give more suggestion for the vegs?
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
BDL: I cut potatoes batonnet size because we want mostly crisp and not much fluff. It works fine; I just have to turn them over more frequently and keep an eye on them as they get close to being done so they don't burn.

When I did the parsnips, they were the larger size you suggest. I'll probably use that size if I do sweet potatoes, since like parsnips, they also have a high sugar content and could too easily burn.

A friend on another food board says she does this with winter squash, celeriac, Jerusalem artichokes, sweet potatoes -- although I don't think she means oven fries for the Jerusalem artichokes, since they're pretty small and knobby. She might just mean roasted, which is similar in caramelization but doesn't yield the crunch we want. I have some delicata squash, but that will be too much trouble to try to peel (will just cut into rings and roast, probably). But I think this would work well with butternut squash, since it has that smooth long neck, perfect for peeling and cutting into even sticks.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #5 of 7
Yes, baked vegetables are terrific.

This year I have taken to baking my beets. They retain all the flavor ,color and vitamins . (instead of boiling them to death).

Root vegetables are great baked. Lightly seasoned, olive oil, (balsamic ) we have a winner.....

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(168 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(168 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply
post #6 of 7
Very tasty. I like thick potato wedges with olive oil, salt and pepper, rosemary and parmesan.
post #7 of 7
I don't know if this fits here but I made a roasted carrot salad tonight that was soooo good!

In a pan toss par-boiled carrots, seasoned with salt/pepper, crushed chili flakes and cumin, crushed garlic and thyme, olive oil and red wine vinegar. Place a halved orange and lemon flesh side down in there with it. Roast for 30 minutes at 350.

Meanwhile, slice an avocado in a serving dish. When the carrots are ready toss them into the serving bowl with the avocado. Add a few leaves of bitter salad greens (I used radicchio).

Dressing - with a pair of tongs squeeze the lemon and orange juice into a measuring cup, add a little vinegar and olive oil, and season. Dress the salad. Top with toasted sunflower seeds.

This is a recipe from Jamie Oliver's "Jamie at Home" book. The recipe goes even further to add chunks of grilled ciabatta bread, and top with a dollop of sour cream. I didn't have either but I'm sure it's great. I LOVE roasted veggies!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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