Sandwich Sunday

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Parm & Lemon-Thyme Oven-Fries  //  

You know that phenomenon where a certain smell reminds you – vividly – of a past experience? Kinda like… olfactory déjà vu?

I’m currently living with two of those little buggers.

The first is triggered by my gym’s shampoo. Every time I use that stuff, right before my hands reach my head, I’m immediately transported back to seventh-grade science class. Strangest thing – surprises me every time.

The second – and far more relevant – is induced by fries. When I catch just the right whiff of some really good fries, I’m instantly aboard a ski-lift in eastern Arizona, whistling “She Drives Me Crazy” by the Fine Young Cannibals. Again, no idea.

Well, I got that second one to fire a couple nights ago with these oven-fries. Twice. So you know they’re good.

There are two ways to make these fries. One: cook the potatoes plain and toss them in the herbs post-roast. Or two: roast the potatoes with the herbs. Either way works well. If you’re going to use a woody herb like thyme or rosemary, however, roast the herbs with the potatoes – they need the heat to soften them up and release their flavor. Using a delicate herb like parsley or cilantro? Just toss them with the finished fries. They’ll burn-to-shit if you put them in oven. (Done it.)

Also, DO NOT, under any circumstances, move these fries once they enter the oven. Don’t turn them over; don’t shake the tray around; don’t go nibbling for samples. What would you rather have? Oven fries with one perfectly-crispy side and one perfectly-roasted side? Or oven fries with two mostly-soggy sides? Me too.

Parmigiano & Lemon-Thyme Oven-Fries

Makes 16 big-ass fries

Stolen and adapted from Tyler Florence.

  • 2 russet potatoes
  • 5-6 sprigs lemon-thyme (or herb of your choice), chopped.
  • ¼ cup (or slightly less – just eyeball it) olive oil.
  • big pinch of salt
  • lots of cracked black pepper
  • plenty of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated. (I know, expensive. But so worth it.)
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Halve the potatoes, lengthwise. Then, halve the halves, to make quarters. Then, halve the quarters, to make sixteen big fries.
  3. Toss the fries with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. If using a woody herb like thyme or rosemary, toss those in as well.
  4. Spread the fries evenly on a sheet tray. Even though there’s plenty of olive oil, give the tray a quick spray with your favorite non-stick spray stuff.
  5. Roast the potatoes for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown. (Don’t move them around!)
  6. Remove the fries from the oven and place on a paper towel, to drain, for a minute.
  7. Before serving, toss the fries in the Parmigiano. If using a delicate herb, toss the fries in those, too.

Enjoying my final summer-ale to:

Posted by Chris on 9/28/12 in Snacks & Such


  1. Elizabeth

    WOW! Love this post, so glad I found your blog. This stuff is great.

    P.S. I lived in Colorado for awhile too. Boulder is awesome!

    • Chris

      Thanks, Elizabeth – appreciate that. And I agree, Boulder was/is fantastic. I will definitely check out Southern Elle this weekend!

  2. Michele Garcia

    Hi Chris,

    Was drawn to your blog by your creative photo above on Foodgawker-great pic! Really nice job on your blog-I enjoyed looking through the recipes and pictures. I’m originally from Arizona, and we may move back there someday, but for now my husband and I are here in Texas. I may steal your archive idea (using pictures) :-) Oh yeah, we have a wacko dachshund-jack russell terrier- you can imagine that mix, I’m sure. Anyway, welcome to the world of food blogging-looking forward to seeing more of your stuff!

  3. Krista

    Really nice style and superb written content , very little else we require : D.

    • Chris

      Michele: Thanks for taking the time to comment – I appreciate it. Steal whatever you wish – I do it all the time!

      Krista: Thanks! Hope you continue to enjoy it.

  4. Fred

    Sweet! Those will go great at my next burgerdinner

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