Who needs French fries when you've got Italian fries? A twist on a recipe created by Lucinda's Italian relatives, these oven-baked fries are tossed in olive oil, grated cheese, and a medley of dried herbs. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper while they're still hot, and serve immediately. From the book "Mad Hungry," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books).
- 6 or 7 Idaho potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/3-inch-thick French fry-style strips, soaked in cold water
- 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs or some combo of dried oregano, thyme, marjoram, and basil
- 2 cups freshly grated Romano cheese
- 1/4 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter, cut into 6 cubes
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Drain the potatoes and pat dry with paper towels. Spread 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on each of 2 rimmed baking sheets and spread out the potatoes. Overlapping is fine.
Sprinkle the dried herbs evenly over the potatoes. Liberally spread the cheese and parsley on top. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the cheese. Scatter the cubed butter around the pans.
In this step:
Bake until the potatoes are golden brown, rotating the pans after 30 minutes, for 45 to 50 minutes total. Use a spatula to lift off the potatoes with all the crusty cheese adhered to them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.