Wednesday, October 13, 2021

No-Fuss French Fries That Taste Like the Real Thing! by @Leslie Karst

I admit it: I’m a salt and carb fan. If offered the choice between cookies and French fries, I’d most always go for the fries. But when deep fried in the traditional way, they’re a big splurge for me, calorie-wise. And making the tasty morsels at home means a lot of clean-up, not to mention dealing with all that left-over oil.

So instead, here’s a simple baked recipe that comes pretty darn close to its deep-fried cousin, and is far healthier, being made with only a few drizzles of olive oil.

No-Fuss French Fries


(serves 4)

5 medium Russet potatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)

salt, to taste


Peel the potatoes (or not—I was cooking for a finicky eater, who dislikes the skin) and put them in a bowl of cold water, to keep from turning brown.

Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, lay each half flat-side down on the cutting board, and slice lengthwise into ½” (or less, if you like your fries really skinny) wedges. Then lay the wedges flat and slice into strips. As you cut the fries, put them back into the cold water.

Stir the raw fries around in the water with your hands to release the starch in the potatoes (the water will turn cloudy). Then pour off the water and replace with clean water. At this point, the potatoes can sit until you’re ready to bake them.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the potatoes to a dish cloth and pat them dry.

Place the dry potatoes in a large baking dish and drizzle with the oil. Add the pepper (and garlic, if using), and mix the potatoes (hands work well for this job) until the oil and spices are evenly distributed, then spread them out over the pan. Don’t add the salt till the fries are cooked.

Bake for 10-15 minutes till the bottom of the fries are golden brown, then flip them over with a spatula or tongs to brown the other side. 

Continue baking until golden brown all over (another 5-10 minutes). Sprinkle with salt to taste, and serve while still hot and crispy.

🌱  🍟  🌿


The daughter of a law professor and a potter, Leslie Karst learned early, during family dinner conversations, the value of both careful analysis and the arts—ideal ingredients for a mystery story. Putting this early education to good use, she now writes the Lefty Award-nominated Sally Solari Mysteries, a culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California. 
An ex-lawyer like her sleuth, Leslie also has degrees in English literature and the culinary arts. She and her wife and their Jack Russell mix split their time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i.

Leslie’s website
Leslie also blogs with Chicks on the Case
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Such a deal! The Lefty Award-nominated Death al Fresco is a Kindle Deal of the Month, for only $1.99 through the entire month of October! 

Praise for Leslie's most recent Sally Solari mystery, the Lefty Award-nominated MURDER FROM SCRATCH:

“Karst seasons her writing with an accurate insider’s view of restaurant operation, as well as a tenderness in the way she treats family, death and Sally’s reactions to Evelyn’s blindness.”

Ellery Queen Magazine (featured pick)

All four Sally Solari Mysteries are available through AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Bookshop.


Dying for a TasteA Measure of Murder, and Murder from Scratch are also available as AUDIOBOOKS from Audible!


  1. Yum! I might suggest these for Saturday night :D

  2. I am getting some potatoes this weekend! What an easy method and I am less likely to get a Big Mac with them since I won't leave the house for warm and fresh fries! Thanks for sharing! PS LOVE your culinary cozies!

    1. Thank you, Tracy--that truly means a lot to me! And good tip about avoiding the temptation of a Big Mac, lol!

  3. I love your tip to NOT salt the fries until baked. Thanks, Leslie!

    1. Yes, it is a good tip, which I learned from Jacques Pepin.

    2. He's one of my heroes, and I love watching the short videos he does that come to my FB newsfeed often!

  4. I love this approach! Thanks, Leslie. MJ