Garlic Fries, Friend or Foe?
Fries and ketchup are a super popular combination! It has been so since the dawn of time (well, at least since the dawn of burgers… yum!). Fries and delicious peeled garlic cloves, are also becoming a very popular matchup. Let’s forego the semantics of comparing the two in terms of convenience - because the taste of garlic on fries clearly triumphs matters of convenience when one considers the salty sugary mess that some deem fit to call ketchup. Garlic fries are a delicious snack or side dish to any burger! Is there a secret group that has been harboring hateful feelings towards garlic fries? Or is there just a looming threat in society that subtly pushes their prejudice against garlic fries? With these questions in mind we pushed forward in our quest to discover if garlic fries are a friend or an enemy!
Perhaps vampires have subtly infiltrated systems to subvert the trend of adding garlic to French fries (maybe that’s why ketchup is red – vampires prefer the blood like color perhaps… hmmmm). Maybe a fiendish plot has been launched by the potatoes of the world who have rejected the notion of adding their root based brothers to their flavor pallet. Do potatoes have some unknown treaty with ketchup to continue their nefarious alliance ad infinitum? The questions abound!
First let's examine why garlic fries are amazing, and then once we have all of the facts out, we can then try to understand what is happening in the world of fries and garlic today. We can admit, garlic fries do seem more intimidating than regular fries. The sheer unconventional combination of these two culinary delights may be too much for the ordinary diner to handle.
In some ways, garlic fries represent a treat (or a great side dish to a meal) for those who are fearless flavor adventurers. Garlic fries are two dimensional in that sense because they are two giant flavor notes dancing on your tongue like a ballerina in a snow globe, but with saliva explosions in your mouth as a result. On one hand you have fries, which is about as safe as you can get when it comes to culinary exoticism. They are right in the pocket with apple pie, scrambled eggs, or vanilla ice cream in terms of risk taking. Then, you have garlic which just adds new level of awesome to the equation. Garlic proves a person is alive and full of zest!
This is why I deem those who like garlic fries “food adventurers” and those who are too afraid of garlic fries are called (insert boring expletive here). Food adventurers have vision to risk it all in the journey to dinner Valhalla. There are the best humanity has to offer. If you have the goods and are willing to flaunt your stuff when you eat then you are a food adventurer and we like you. You will never find this bunch guzzling down ketchup poured on their fries or just eating fries plain (gasp!). They like food with flair (we like talking about our flair).
Garlic haters say garlic fries give you bad breath, and that very well might be true but it is so worth it. But what does ketchup give you? Diabetes and heart disease?! With such two distinctive groups, it’s no wonder that slander happens. The trash talking between the ketchup fries vs. garlic fries groups continues to this day, but we don’t allow such vitriol and negativity to interrupt our experience. WE just keep eating garlic fries with now regard for the debate.
I’d rather miss a smooch than have my heart skip a beat somewhere down the line. Not only that, but garlic has been shown to increase cardiovascular health and reduce cholesterol build up - a perfect counterweight to the greasy fries that profligate most restaurants. For those of you who care nothing about health, or just want to indulge every so often, I think that garlic fries can also benefit from the sweet but salty red infused condiment (PS: we like ketchup too). If you are going to eat fries, you might as well go all out, after all. If you add ketchup to garlic fries you have sweet, salty, bitter, and a buttery kick! Don’t even get me started about ranch or cheese, because nothing can beat garlic fries with ranch or cheese! Garlic fries with ranch is like dipping a piece of joy into hot yum sauce with an after taste of awesome. Beauty meets perfection!
The question of are garlic fries a friend or foe really depending on who wields them in their hand. They are good, I mean damn good. Anything that good must be a friend in our world. They are a powerful tasting food, that can’t be denied. We suggest every restaurant add them to its arsenal of delights. We shall serve no garlic fries before their time!
Garlic Fries! A true friend if there ever was one.
3 pounds peeled baking potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips (amount can vary depending upon the requirements for how many people are eating)
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon salt (preferably unrefined sea salt)
Cooking spray or cooking oil
2 tablespoons butter (just yum!)
8 garlic cloves (or more!), minced (about 5 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese or you can top with other cheese
Ranch dressing for dipping or ketchup or anything you like!
Preheat oven to 400°. It is good to combine first 3 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag, tossing to coat. You will shake this bag up rigorously to mix all the flavors together. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 50 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning after 20 minutes. Place butter and garlic in a large nonstick skillet; cook over low heat 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add potatoes, parsley, and cheese to pan; toss to coat. Serve immediately.
For more pizzazz...
SPICY- ZESTY GARLIC FRIES
1.Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Peel or scrub the potatoes. Cut the potatoes into just-shy-of 1/2-inch pieces (or thinner, if you like skinny fries). Place in a large pot and cover with an inch or two of water. Set heat to high and set timer for 10 minutes. Boil potatoes, reduce the heat to medium. Test one. Consistency is to taste. If you like a soft mushy fry or crispy is really personal.
2.Coat a large baking sheet with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and place it in the oven for a few minutes. You want the oil to get very hot and rolls easily around the pan. Don’t burn it though.
3.Drain your potatoes and immediately spread them on the oiled baking sheet in one layer. Spread them out. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle sea salt and roast for 20 minutes, until golden underneath.
4.Make the aioli: Whisk mayonnaise, garlic chili olive oil, and lemon juice. Season to taste with sea salt and ground pepper to taste.
5.When the fries are golden, turn potatoes around to crisp on both sides. Add minced garlic and sprinkle evenly.
6.Roast another 5-10 minutes, tossing every 5, until fries are deeply golden. Season with more sea salt, chopped cilantro and jalapenos. Dip into aioli sauce and munch.
For the fries:
1 1/2 lb potatoes 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
2 tablespoons minced garlic
⅔ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
2 jalapenos, sliced (about ½ cup)
¼ teaspoon black pepper
For the garlic aioli:
½ cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons garlic chili and olive oil), with purée
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and black pepper
Learn more about how to peel garlic without a knife! It will make your garlic garlic fires so easy to make.