February 1st, 2012

Baked Garlic Curry Fries

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Serves 4
Time: 45 minutes

Curry Fries

There’s a falafel joint down the street from me that makes these amazing curry fries and you can smell them from a block away. They are so tantalizing, but baked fries are sooo much healthier and totally quench my curry fry craving.

These baked fries do take a bit of work. You need to parboil them, plunge them into ice water and then bake. But I wouldn’t post this recipe if it weren’t totally worth it! It’s everything a fry should be; a creamy interior while crispy on the outside. And it’s one of those things that, if you do it once, the next time it won’t be such a big deal and the time after that even less so. Looking over the directions I’m surprised at how much work it looks like when in reality it is so easy!

The type of curry powder you use is important. I use the Penzey’s sweet curry blend. It’s fairly mild with a little kick, and not bitter like some curry powders can be. Oh, and expect yellow garlic fingers for a few hours because you have to handle the curry powder with your hands. Welcome to my world.

Curry fries

PS If you just want plain old baked fries, skip the curry step. Just drizzle on the olive oil and salt and you’re good to go! You can also use chili powder or Cajun spice or any spice blend you’re totally in love with.

Oh and also, don’t use sweet potatoes or yams here. They’re much too soft and will turn to mush if parboiled. I find that simply baking sweet potato fries works well. This method is just for russet potatoes.

1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes
2 tablespoons mild curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Microplaned garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil

Organic cooking spray

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In the meantime, you’ll prep everything else and preheat oven to 425 F.

You want “steak fry” slices. So slice them about 1/4 inch thick and 3/4 inch wide.

Now prep your workspace. Fill a big bowl with ice water. Lay a kitchen towel on the counter and line it with paper towels. You’ll be plunging the fries into the ice water after boiling, and then placing them on the towel to blot dry.

Once the water is boiling, add the potatoes and cook for 3 minutes, no longer than that or they will get mushy so put on a timer if you need to. Now drain the potatoes and immediately plunge them into the ice bath to stop them from further cooking.

Once completely cool, place potatoes in a single layer on the towel to drain. Blot the tops with a paper towel as well, so that they’re mostly dry. A little moisture is necessary, though, to get the coating to stick. You just don’t want a puddle.

Pour the ice water out of the bowl and wipe it dry. Scoop the curry powder into the bowl and mix in the salt. Now use a microplane grater to grate about a tablespoon of garlic into the bowl (just eyeball it.) Alternatively, you can finely mince the garlic until it’s almost a paste. Drizzle in the oil and mix with a fork.

We’re in the home stretch now! Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Toss a handful of potato slices into the curry powder and remove each one, rubbing in the curry powder. Do this in about 4 batches, being careful not to get huge chunks of curry on any one potato. It should be evenly distributed amongst the fries.

Place fries in a single layer, spray with a little extra cooking spray, bake for 8 to 12 minutes on each side until golden brown and tender inside. If you’d like extra browning, place under the broiler for a few minutes, keeping a close eye. Serve hot!

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