road dust: friday night oven fries

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›bio: vera

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Do you ever get hungry for finger-lickin good, real, 100-percent potato fries? But you don't want to lug home a deep-fryer, brave the spattering hot oil, then clean it up later? Well, here's a recipe even a non-cook can love and it doesn't require anything that a *normal kitchen doesn't have. It's easy, it's inexpensive, and the seasonings can be adjusted for any picky person's tastes. And an experienced cook, well--this recipe is wide open for superlative chefs to season to their heart's delight!

To heartily serve 2 people you will need:

5-7 medium size Russet potatoes
1 Tablespoon butter**
Lawry's Seasoning Salt (secret ingredient)
Onion Powder
Granulated Garlic OR finely minced fresh garlic

For the dip, you will need:

8 ounces of sour cream
1/2 package Uncle Dan's Ranch Dip, Original or Creamy

An alternative dip is sour cream with freshly chopped chives in it.

Heat your oven to 350 degrees and pull out an 8x11 baking pan. If it's glass, lower the oven temp to 325.

Take your potatoes to the sink and scrub them clean. Don't peel them because the skins are part of the deal. Then, whack the potatoes onto your cutting board, slice them in half longwise, then slice each half lengthwise into quarter wedges (like lemon wedges). You should have 8 wedges from each potato.

Place your chunk of butter in the pan and place pan in the oven to melt.

After 30-45 seconds, pull out your pan of melted butter and sprinkle in the Lawry's Season Salt, onion powder and garlic--to taste, on top of the butter. You be the judge on how much. Optional seasonings include black pepper, white pepper, cayenne, Italian Herbs, or some chili powder. Experiment!

Use a rubber spatula to stir the seasonings into the butter. Then, throw in all of your potatoes and toss them with the same spatula in the seasoned butter to coat them. Make sure they are evenly spread out in the pan.

Place your pan of goodie fries into the preheated oven and set the timer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix up your dip and set aside. During this time, you can also heat up a can of smoky baked beans as an accompaniment dish.

When your timer dings 20 minutes, pull out your fries and using a metal spatula, flip them over. Place into oven again for 10-15 minutes (or longer, depending on your oven).

This is the tricky part...if you like soft fries, then test with a fork for doneness after the second trip into the oven--Fork should easily pierce the fry. If you like crispiness, then in the last 10-15 minutes raise the temp of the oven 25 degrees and you will get a browned, crunchy-on-the-outside fry that is very yummy. You may have to play with your oven temp and time, but testing for doneness with a fork and looking at how brown they are will tell you what you need to know.

Pull your fries from the oven, toss them again to coat with any buttery seasoning that came off, and slightly cool.

Get two big plates, split the fries between them, then get two little bowls and split the dip. Place your dip on your plate, start your favorite movie and enjoy!

*normal kitchens contain ranges, knives, baking pans, running water and salt.

**I don't recommend margarine or other butter substitutes because at high heats, they break down and release carcinogens, or, at best, don't taste as good as butter. Hey--it's only a tablespoon of butter. Yum.

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