Fries and I go way back. Mom, I’m about to reveal your secret for keeping me satisfied as a child. She occasionally gave me fries (and sometimes a Pepsi) to shut my yapper so we could go around the mall or wherever to get the errands done for the day. There are pictures of me in my stroller with a small bag of fries in one hand and a beverage in the other (probably a smile on my face or smashed potato on my chin).
As a foodie, I have several food debaucheries and weaknesses for things I shouldn’t like, some things I should even be screaming mad about like the double down from KFC (I do not like that one-I thought it was a joke). McDonald’s fries are one, (diet) Pepsi is another, Wendy’s Jr. bacon cheeseburger … (stop embarrassing yourself). The Wendys in my town closed almost 2 weeks ago and I’m still mourning its loss.
I shouldn’t have such compelling emotions about these foods. I’m mostly about local products and homemade goods, supporting my local farmer and quality ingredients but I’m not unreasonable and I don’t turn my head from my happy past (and present) where I occasionally dine(d) at Taco Bell or Wendys with friends and ate/eat fast food with my family.
I am an advocate for healthy eating and working out, someone fighting against obesity but I am also not a fanatic crying out to rid the world of fast food restaurants as if they are what are wrong with the world. A lack of personal responsibility and a sense of entitlement run rampant and are at fault in my opinion (among and with other things these days).
With portion control and an occasional indulgence, society can manage. Plus, there are healthier alternatives on the menu. I lost 12 lbs. with the point system from Weight Watchers eating mostly fast food a few years ago paired with a sensible workout schedule. It can be done.
Back to the fries, I still love ‘em! I’m just loving the more adult version baked with olive oil, tossed with fresh herbs and a small amount of Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese like these from Food & Wine. Even with half the amount of olive oil and cheese and extra garlic and herbs, I found these delicious.
Oven Fries with Herbs and Pecorino Cheese adapted from Food & Wine
2 large baking potatoes, cut into even-sized sticks
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp sage or rosemary or both, minced
2 tbsp freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 425F. In a large bowl, toss the potato sticks with the oil, coating evenly and place on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes or until crispy and golden, turning the fries once halfway through. I nearly forgot to do this and my fries didn’t turn out as golden or come off of the sheet as easily as I would have liked so be sure to turn them at least once.
Sprinkle the minced garlic and herbs over the fries and bake for 5 more minutes until the garlic is golden. Transfer to a bowl and toss with the cheese. Season with salt and pepper then serve.