Rosemary-Sage Oven Fries with Cheese Sauce

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Movie Night! How can you go wrong watching a great movie? In our case, it really wasn’t that great of a movie. Truth be told, it was an awful movie — Revenge of the Creature — but we were watching it on purpose; we had checked out the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 version from the library so we knew it would be a laugh a minute. So, what to scratch up to have along with such a cinematic treat? We waffled around, hemming and hawing, discussing options: Two Potato Casserole? Nope, no spinach. Sweet potato souffle? Naw, too sweet. In desperation we hit the Internet and found a recipe for sweet potato oven fries. Yeah, that’s good! But we thought that we’d change them up and make ’em a bit less healthy.

Once we decided on the oven fries, we went with a mix of potatoes and decided to go with a completely different spice scheme, and to make a Cheddar Parmesan sauce to turn these into a gooey cheesy treat. We happen to believe your food should coordinate with the movie: cheesy movie, cheesy food.

Serves 2 (as a main, probably 4 as sides)

Rosemary-Sage Oven Fries with Cheese Sauce

Rosemary-Sage Oven Fries with Cheese Sauce

Ingredients

    For the oven fries.
  • 6 potatoes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp ground rosemary
  • 2 Tbs olive oil, plus more for greasing
  • For the cheese sauce.
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheese

Abbreviated Instructions

For the oven fries.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Oil baking sheet. Slide it in the oven a few minutes to preheat.

Scrub the potatoes well — no need to peel — and cut into wedges.

In a medium bowl, mix together the salt, spices, and olive oil.

Put the potatoes in the bowl with the spice mixture and stir to coat.

Remove baking sheet, spread the potatoes on the pan, and slide them back in the oven for 45 minutes, turning occasionally to ensure even crisping.

For the cheese sauce.

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat.

When melted, add the flour and cook, stirring continuously, until bubbly, about 5 minutes.

Add the milk in three stages to prevent lumping, cook, stirring continuously, until thickened and bubbly, about 20 minutes.

Stir in the cheese until it melts, then reduce heat to low, stir occasionally until ready to use.

Dish up the hot oven fries and spoon on cheese sauce.

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Ingredients:

For the oven fries.

  • 6 potatoes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp ground rosemary
  • 2 Tbs olive oil, plus more for greasing

For the cheese sauce.

  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheese

Ingredient discussion:

Potatoes. Buy organic potatoes if possible, since industrial potatoes are one of the biggest users of pesticides and fungicides, which concentrate on the skins of the potatoes. Also, we found it nice to use a mix of potatoes: Red La Sodas, Yukon Golds, and Sweet potatoes. For the ground rosemary, we just put it in a little spice grinder and went to it. You could also crush it in a bowl using the back of the spoon. Mainly, you don’t want big pieces of rosemary leaves poking your gums as you eat. Cheese. Use a strong cheese: we went with a mix of Parmesan and sharp Cheddar.

Procedure:

For the oven fries.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Oil baking sheet. Slide it in the oven a few minutes before you need it to preheat. You want the potatoes to sizzle when you put them on the pan.

sliced potatoes
Slice those potatoes into wedges so they’ll crisp up nicely.

Wash and cut potatoes. Scrub the potatoes well — no need to peel — and cut into wedges. We went with eight wedges from the smaller potatoes, and 16 from the larger potatoes.

spice coating
Use spices that you think will taste good; we went with rosemary and sage.

Make spice coating. In a medium bowl (one that will hold all the potato wedges) mix together the salt, spices, and olive oil. It should form a thick slurry. If needed, add a bit more oil.

coating potatoes
Try to get the potatoes evenly coated. Don’t deny someone those spices.

Coat potatoes. Put the potatoes in the bowl with the spice mixture and stir to coat.

oven fries ready for the oven
Sizz. Sizz. Preheating the pan makes the fries sizzle when they hit the pan. That should help them crisp a bit, too.

Bake. Remove baking sheet, spread the potatoes on the pan (hear ’em sizzle?), and slide them back in the oven for 45 minutes, turning occasionally to ensure even crisping.

For the cheese sauce.

Make a roux. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat.

roux
Make a standard roux, one part flour, one part butter, and cook until bubbly.

Add flour. When melted, add the flour and cook, stirring continuously, until bubbly, about 5 minutes.

cream sauce
Add the milk, and cook, stirring, until bubbly.

Add milk. Add the milk in three stages to prevent lumping, and cook, stirring continuously, until thickened and bubbly, about 20 minutes.

cheese sauce
Add the cheese and stir until melted. You could use this cheese sauce for things other than oven fries.

Add cheese. Stir in the cheese until it melts, then reduce heat to low, stir occasionally until ready to use.

ovenfries_007Serve. Dish up the hot oven fries, spoon cheese sauce over the top, and eat with you fingers (have a paper towel nearby).

These turned out even better that we expected. After eating the equivalent of three potatoes each, we still wanted more, making for the perfect snacky-dinnery dish to go along with a movie. We can hardly wait until our library gets more Mystery Science Theatre 3000 DVDs!

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