Anyone who knows me can attest to my love of French fries. Wedges, shoestring, crinkle cut, waffle…it doesn’t matter to me. As long as they are potato (yup, I’m counting sweet potato here, too) and in some sort of fry form, then I’m sure to love them. But we hear every day that we should limit the amount of fried foods we eat, and this sadly doesn’t jive with my love of French fries. So it should come as no surprise that I turned to figuring out how to bake French fries instead of fry them. After many failed attempts, I’ve finally discovered the secret! These oven-baked potato wedges are not only similar to the fried version, but they taste delicious in their own right.
There’s a couple of secrets to getting the oven-baked flavor just right. Usually oven-baked fries just don’t come out crispy enough for me, and it’s because of the water in the potato itself. So to create delicious oven-baked fries, its necessary to get rid of some of that water. One trick is to soak the wedges in water for 60-90 minutes prior to baking them (this helps remove the starch which locks water inside the potatoes). Another tip is to make sure that the wedges are dry before placing them in the oven. (I actually pat mine dry on all sides with a paper towel.) Finally, its important to rub olive oil all over the outside of the wedges. You don’t want to drown the wedges in olive oil (if you’re going to do that, then just fry them!), but you need enough to produce that lovely brown baked crust on the potatoes.
For this round, I chose to sprinkle the wedges with kosher salt and truffle oil after they were baked. Truffle oil is relatively inexpensive (at least compared to actual truffles) and can be found in most specialty food shops. But use this oil sparingly…a very small amount goes a long way! I also chose to go with kosher salt here as the grains are a bit larger than regular table salt…and I personally think that yields a much better flavor to the wedges. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do…err, did. They didn’t last very long in my kitchen.