Fries and healthy eats aren’t mutually exclusive although I didn’t always see it that way. I was brought up on burgers, french fries and grease.
I grew up in Hayward in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our main commercial strip included Woolworth’s, Kay Jewelers and a Capwell’s department store. Inside Capwell’s was a small soda fountain and counter where some of my 8th grade friends and I would go after school. We’d order “fries and a coke”. Unless you specified otherwise, the fries came with gravy. For us, it was a treat and a welcome change from the A&W drive through routine of Papa Burgers, fries and root beer.
It wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned deep fried potatoes, with warm gravy ladled on top, wasn’t the most heart-smart food on the planet. But, God help my arteries, it tasted ever so good at the time. The following recipe features thick-cut potatoes baked in the oven. No deep frying or greasy gravy for this boy ever again.
4 medium Russet potatoes (unpeeled and cut into 1/2-inch thick fries)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces shredded pepper jack cheese
1/4 cup fresh salsa
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Put thick fries, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large baggie and seal. Vigorously shake the fries until they are evenly coated. Open the baggie and pour the fries onto a baking sheet arranging them into a single layer. Bake for 25 minutes.
Remove the fries from the oven, top with the cheese and bake for 3-5 more minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Remove the potatoes from the oven and top with fresh salsa. Serve with pickled jalapeño slices on the side.
Note: For a change up, substitute Amy’s Organic Chili for the salsa. Now that’s a meal in itself!