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posted: 2/1/2012 6:00 AM

High-heat key to great french fries

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  • High-heat and a salt-free seasoning blend make home-cooked french fries just as tasty as their fast food counterparts.

    High-heat and a salt-free seasoning blend make home-cooked french fries just as tasty as their fast food counterparts.
    Alicia Ross/Kitchen Scoop


Warning! Do not make these potatoes when you are alone! OK, that sounds a little dramatic, but it really is for your own good. These potatoes are so amazing that you will be tempted to eat the entire batch. This warning comes, of course, from a self-proclaimed fanatic and victim of said danger: me!

Here's the story: I have had a love affair with french fries my entire life. In fact, I have had to go cold turkey off the little fried gems several times over the years in hopes of dropping a few pounds. And now, at this point in my life, I refuse to do without. So I'm just trying to improve the nutritional benefit of one of my favorite foods.

I hit the test kitchen with a 10-pound bag of russet potatoes and various methods in my cooking arsenal. Let me tell you, it was hard, dirty work. A whole lot of potatoes would have been better left raw. But for you, my dear, devoted readers, I have come up with possibly the best roasted-potato recipe I have ever made. I have also cut the calories by more than half, and I've cut the fat and sodium by two-thirds or more (compared to my favorite fast food variety).

The kitchen scoop is really simple: high heat and assertive seasoning.

The reason a french fry is so darn good is because it is fried. The boiling oil gives the fries moist, tender insides and crispy outsides. But it's not just the deep-fried oil that's bad for you. Don't forget the seasoning. If you ever watched your favorite fast-food restaurant season your fries, you know how much "stuff" they put on there.

Since I ditched the Fry Daddy years ago, a high temperature in the oven has been my answer. For the seasoning, I used a sodium-free lemon-pepper seasoning mix and garlic and added salt to taste (with some guidelines). I have sized the batch for two people, but it is easily doubled or tripled for more.

Enjoy these delicious "fries" with the traditional burger, sandwich, chicken, fish, steak or ... well, just about anything. But don't say I didn't warn you if you feel compelled to eat more than one serving!

• Alicia Ross is the co-author of the "Desperation Dinners!" cookbook series. Write her at Kitchen Scoop, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or More at the Kitchen Scoop website,

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