If there is a food that I crave most in this world, piping hot and salty French fries with ketchup are definitely in the running. I am confident that I have consumed more deep fried potatoes than any other item in my entire life.
Nearly every day my freshman year of high school, I would climb into my mom’s purple minivan at 2:55pm, and she would proceed to drive through whichever fast food chain we were craving that day. She would order the largest size french fries they offered (hello, bucket o’ fries!) for us to share on the drive home. To this day, she blames me for any weight she gained that year. On top of that, I often ate french fries slathered in nacho cheese sauce or ranch dressing during my lunch hour in the school cafeteria.
During my sophomore year of high school I was fifteen and I got my first job. I ran the cash register at our local Wienerschnitzel. My friend Katrina and I applied, interviewed and were hired together. My first day on the job was a Saturday. I worked a four-hour shift and all I did was fill the drink orders. We didn’t have a self serve soda fountain so I learned how to fill the cup mostly with ice unless a customer specifically asked for low or no ice. I soon graduated to cash register, and then drive through, and then I learned a few things in the kitchen. I learned many Spanish words, and taught the cooks English words, by pointing to various objects around the establishment. I had to walk through the kitchen to get to the break room, the closet where we kept our personal items, and the large ice machine. Each time I passed the french fry station, I reached down to grab a handful, and happily munched on this snack all day long. I’m pretty sure my french fry consumption kept it’s pace even after I got out of the fast food business.
Now that I’m thirty and sadly do not have the metabolism of my fifteen-year-old self, I have reduced my french fry intake, a little. I still love a piping hot and salted fry, but I no longer crave the oily specimen which comes from those golden arches. Don’t get me wrong, I will happily down a large bag of deep fried potatoes with ketchup any day (except not from that one place)! Those days are far less frequent now, and when I do get that salty craving, I usually satisfy it with air-popped popcorn that I make at home. When I’m really craving some french fries, but I don’t want to leave the house, or I’ve already felt too unhealthy for the day, I’ll slice some potatoes into sticks and throw them in the oven. Since Valentine’s Day is upon us, and we all know that I’ve been V-Day-Cray lately, I made some Heart Shaped Oven Fries for you. Actually, they were for myself, but you can have some, too. Call them french fries, or oven fries, or roasted potatoes. Cut them into hearts or stars or the classic stick. Whichever way you serve these, they will be well received, I assure you. If you’re craving something more grown up, try one of the flavor combinations below.
- 2 large russet potatoes
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- Optional Flavor Ideas:
- -fresh minced rosemary
- -black pepper, minced garlic, minced fresh thyme
- -garlic powder, onion powder, paprika
- -parmesan cheese, lemon juice, black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425F
- Slice the potatoes, lengthwise, into ¼-1/2 inch slices. You can leave the skin on or peel the potatoes, depending on your preference.
- Using a 1½ inch heart shaped cookie cutter, cut as many hearts our of each potato slice as you can get. Do not discard the scraps! They can be baked and consumed just as easily as the hearts!
- Place the potatoes into a bowl and cover with water. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Remove the potatoes from the water and dry well.
- Place the potatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt to coat well. Sprinkle with any other herbs or spices of your choice at this time, if desired.
- Bake until the potatoes begin to turn golden brown, about 20-30 minutes.