San Francisco Garlic Fries

When this month’s issue of Bon Appetit arrived, I was pretty excited to see a section on ballpark favorites.  From hot dogs and brats to crab cakes and slushies, I think I flagged almost every recipe I came upon.  The one I was most excited about making first, though, was the San Francisco garlic fries. Homemade fries are a major weakness and I loved the idea of adding garlic to the mix.  This recipe was inspired by the garlic fries served at, you guessed it, the San Francisco Giants’ ballpark.  I’ve never been to the park (someday hopefully, it looks gorgeous on tv!), but based on the quick note in the magazine, it seems that the major difference between the two recipes is that the ones at the park are deep fried, whereas this recipe relies on oven baking.  I’ve had some good food at ballparks, but it’s always outrageously overpriced, so what could be better than a homemade version that’s not only much cheaper, but also healthier?

San Francisco Garlic Fries

There’s nothing tricky about this recipe – cut the potatoes into fries, cook them in a very hot oven coated in some vegetable oil, and then toss with the garlic and parsley.  The hardest part may well be convincing yourself to turn your oven to 450 F on a 90 degree day :)  We served these with burgers for a simple, but delicious summer meal.  The fries were super crisp on the outside, but soft and fluffy inside.  If you’re wondering about the raw garlic, we didn’t think it was too overwhelming.  I found that very little of the garlic actually clung to the fries (maybe I didn’t mince it fine enough); instead, it perfumed the fries and gave them a garlic flavor, without the harsh bite of raw garlic.  Though we already had a favorite recipe for homemade fries, I’m glad we didn’t shy away from this one.  It’s definitely just as good, and you can never have too many recipe for french fries!

San Francisco Garlic Fries

San Francisco Garlic Fries
from Bon Appetit, August 2011

nonstick cooking spray
2 1/4 lb russet potatoes, cut lengthwise into batons (see pics)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

San Francisco Garlic Fries
(To cut the fries – cut a small section off one side of the potato so you have a flat surface to begin your cutting. With that flat side down, slice the potato into 1/4 to 1/3-inch wedges, then stack the wedges and slice into 1/4 to 1/3-inch batons. )

Preheat oven to 450 F.  Spray two large, rimmed baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the potatoes with 2 1/2 tablespoons of the oil in a large bowl and toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper.  Divide the potatoes between the two baking sheets and spread in a single layer.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the fries are tender and browned (no need to flip or toss them while they’re in the oven but I did rotate the baking sheets a few times).  Increase the oven temperature to 500 F and continue cooking until the fries are dark brown in spots, another 5 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil with the garlic and parsley in a large bowl.  Add the hot fries and toss to coat.  Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.