These Baked Seasoned Fries are an excellent side dish for burgers on the grill!
Would you like fries with that? The answer to that question is yes. Always yes. A burger and fries is such a quintessential summer meal. Although hamburgers were first invented in Hamburg, Germany, they didn’t resemble the hamburgers that appear in backyard cookouts all summer long. Instead, they were known as Hamburgh steaks which were served over a piece of bread. Over time, German immigrants to the United States helped create the Hamburger Sandwich which featured 2 slices of bread instead of 1. (These sandwiches were a popular food cart item, so the 2nd slice of bread made the meal easier to eat.) And you can see how the hamburger developed from there.
Now there are thousands upon thousands of variations to the classic hamburger. Heck, I’ve even posted several here, including the Aloha Burger, a Sundried Tomato and Gorgonzola Burger and even a Falafel Burger. But in my mind, burgers must be accompanied by fries. I mean, I won’t complain about a good macaroni salad next to my burger, but given a choice, I’ll usually go with fries.
I had some extra potatoes laying around last week, so I decided to chop ’em up and turn ’em into Baked Seasoned Fries. I love a good seasoned french fry (even more so if it’s beer-battered), and I gotta admit that these Baked Seasoned Fries turned out quite well. I could’ve eaten two potatoes worth when they were fresh out of the oven! Like all fries, these taste a million times better when you serve them hot from the oven. That’s a scientific fact proven by my wife. (She’s a scientist…therefore, it’s a scientific fact.)
One of the secrets to oven-baked fries is cornstarch. I’ve baked fries with and without cornstarch, and both ways can produce totally legit fries. But the cornstarch absorbs some of the extra liquid and gives you a nice coating on the fries similar to classic (i.e. fried) seasoned fries. As far as the seasoning mix, I used a classic combo of herbs and seasonings. You’ll notice that smoked paprika plays a key role here. If you don’t have smoked paprika, splurge a bit and get a jar. (I buy my herbs and seasonings in bulk down at an Amish market near where Laura’s family lives.) Smoked paprika just brings an extra layer of flavor to dishes, and it’s one of my favorites…especially for summer recipes!
If you’re looking for something fun to make for this weekend’s cookout, then consider these Baked Seasoned Fries. I promise both sheet pans of fries will disappear before you know it! Enjoy!
Baked Seasoned Fries
- 3 medium Russet potatoes
- 2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- ½ Tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Rinse potatoes and then slice lengthwise into ½” slices. Lay slices flat and cut into ½” sticks. Place fries in a bowl filled with cold water; let soak for 30 minutes.
- Drain fries and pat dry with paper towels.
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- Using a large bowl, toss the fries with the canola oil until well coated.
- Using a small bowl, add the cornstarch and seasonings; mix until well combined. Add this mixture to the fries and toss until well coated.
- Spread the fries single-layer onto the 2 baking sheets. (Note: Do not crowd the fries together or they will not turn crispy!)
- Bake for 20 minutes. Flip fries over and continue baking for 20-30 more minutes, or until fries are golden brown. (Note: The baking time will vary depending on the thickness of the fries. Watch closely after 40 minutes to prevent fries from burning!)