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Roasted "French Fries" with Homemade Ranch

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Potatoes make for a great side dish and not to make cooking any more complicated than it needs to be, especially on the week days, this recipe is one to remember. Now that we are in football season and coming close to entertaining season this recipe is fabulous if you are hosting.  Snacking on this item while watching a football game or what not is one that you will definitely want to serve because it is good for you. Frying food as we know isn't good for us. By roasting instead of frying the "fries" we get the same texture and dish with better health benefits. 

My philosophy of food is not to reinvent the wheel. My background is in Gastronomy, Culinary Arts, and Nutrition. The reason I teach and created this blog is to show how the 3 can be merged together. Food is rooted into cultures and this is done by centuries upon centuries of repeating the dishes and using the local foods from the land. Certain dishes were also created for nutritional benefits. The science may not have been in a textbook way back in the day, but through trial and error the people of the cultures realized what foods would provide most nutritional benefits, or most calories depending on the season, the labor they did, and if food was scarce or bountiful. All of these factors played and still play a major role in cultural cuisines that are not infiltrated with processed packaged foods. 

French fries for example are of course fried, which means more fat, more calories, more energy. The origin of the recipe is clearly French, hence the name. The nutritional benefit of frying the fries in either a vegetable oil or a form of lard or tallow. The portion size of French fries are small and they are not overly greasy coated in oil. They are simple and to the point. I am not advocating eating French fries, but if you were to eat them I recommend eating them in their home country or a country that prepares them in a similar manner. Here in the US, we don't really need those dense calories of fried foods, and most diets consist of way too much saturated fats so French fries should not be a part of the diet. Instead prepare them in this manner of roasting and its a perfect compromise.

Did you know that the majority of vegetables consumed in this country are the potatoes and the majority of the potatoes are French fries? That is a scary thought! 

The point I am trying to make here is that there really isn't a nutritional need to eat French fries, but we don't want to give it up and people love the dish. For the same experience, texture, flavor, and deliciousness you can prepare them roasted with olive oil versus a saturated and a homemade dipping sauce for a more nutritionally dense dish.

Recipe

Yields 4 small servings

Time 40-50 minutes

Ingredients:

2 large russet potatoes 

2 teaspoons salt 

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 heaping tablespoon Olive Oil

Fresh Parsley- minced

Ranch Dressing:

1/4 cup sour cream 

2-3 tablespoons Greek Yogurt 2%

1 teaspoon dried dill

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 

2. Peel and cut into wedges the russet potatoes. Add to a bowl. Toss in the salt, pepper and olive oil, and mix together with your hands so that each wedge is nicely coated. Evenly spread the  potatoes on the parchment paper. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Then raise the temperature to 450 degrees and roast for another 8-12 minutes, until the desired crispiness is reached. 

3. Meanwhile prepare the ranch dipping sauce. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together and place in the fridge to keep warm while the "fries" roast. 

4. Once roasted to your likeness, remove the potatoes from the oven and allow them to cool for 5 minutes. Then garnish with fresh parsley and serve warm. 

 

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