Oven-baked Fries with Gravy, Aged Cheddar, Parmesan and Fresh Herbs

Oven-baked fries, gravy, aged cheddar, Parmesan and fresh herbs

Delicious oven baked fries with gravy recipe, cheese and fresh herbs.

This one’s a follow-up on yesterday’s Poutine recipe – an alternate take on the classic. I’m not usually one to go for a lightened-up version of anything. I’m more inclined to eat the real thing less often or in smaller servings. That said, there are a number of reasons to recommend this adaptation of classic poutine.

First, even though I have a deep fryer, let’s be honest – deep frying is messy and smelly, despite the nice results. Sometimes, I’m just not up for it. Having a good, oven-baked option for fries is always good. Secondly, I know cheese curds aren’t always readily available for everyone. This combination of Aged Cheddar and Parmesan is lovely and the sharp flavours means you don’t need a lot of it. Then there’s the fresh herbs, a combination of fresh, flat-leafed parsley with a bit of cilantro. It really rounds out this dish.

And last, but not least, this dish is really delicious. Sure, it’s not classic and it’s not fried, but I have to tell you, it’s very satisfying and I definitely recommend it for some comforting food with a little less guilt.


The Recipe

Oven-baked fries, gravy, aged cheddar, Parmesan and fresh herbs
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Oven-baked Fries with Gravy, Aged Cheddar, Parmesan and Fresh Herbs
 
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Comfort food lightened up a bit. These oven baked fries are delicious and easy. Combined with a bit of gravy, cheese and fresh herbs, it's sure to satisfy.
Author:
Recipe type: Main Courses
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Gravy:
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) water
  • 6 Tbsp. (90 ml) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 20 oz. (568 ml) beef broth
  • 10 oz. (284 ml) chicken broth
  • Pepper, to taste

  • Oven-baked fries:
  • 2 lbs. Russet potatoes (3-4 medium)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp. olive oil

  • Toppings:
  • 1/2 cup grated, old white cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh, flat-leafed parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh, cilantro
Instructions
  1. Prepare the gravy: In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the water and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring regularly, for about 5 minutes, until the mixture turns golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds.
  3. Add the beef and chicken broth and bring to a boil, stirring with a whisk. Stir in the cornstarch and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Season with pepper. Taste and add additional salt, if necessary, to taste. Make ahead and re-warm or keep warm until your fries are ready.
  4. For the oven-baked fries: Wash the potatoes well and cut into uniform sticks about 1/2-inch thick. (*I like to remove the skin only from the sides and the ends. That way I end up with a rough rectangle with a bit of skin here and there. The rectangle is easier to cut into slices, and then to cut each slice into sticks.)
  5. Put the cut potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches . Add the vinegar. Bring the pot to the boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain, then spread the potatoes out on some paper towel to absorb moisture. Move them to a wire rack, in a single layer, and allow them to dry completely, about 30 minutes. Make sure your potatoes are thoroughly dry before baking.
  6. Preheat oven to 435 ° F. with the racks in the upper and lower third of the oven. Place dried potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat thoroughly. Spread potatoes evenly onto two baking sheets. Leave some space between, if possible and be sure they are in a single layer.
  7. Bake 15 minutes then, turn the fries over and rotate the baking sheets top to bottom. Bake an additional 20 – 30 minutes, rotating pans top to bottom once more, until uniformly golden brown.
  8. To serve: In a large bowl, toss fries with hot gravy to coat. Sprinkle with cheeses and fresh herbs. Toss to combine. Season with freshly ground pepper and a bit of salt. Serve immediately.
 
Baked fries recipe adapted from Constantly Cooking



Yummly


13 Comments

  • If you just posted fries and gravy of some sort every day I’d still come back for more! Love this!

    • Jennifer M says:

      Thanks Katrina. It’s hard to beat fries and gravy of any sort :)

      I made this version on the same day I made the poutine and honestly, it came darned close to being as good as the original. Darned close!

  • AUGH I love poutine, no matter which way it’s served- lightened up, or fattened up! And I’ve tried that trick of the parboiling in vinegar, as well- it makes the insides of the potatoes so creamy and delicious!

    • Jennifer M says:

      Same, Ruthy. Poutine is my ultimate “food therapy” choice :) And yes, the fries came out perfectly with the parboiling!

  • Sophie says:

    I just tried this potato “french fry” (rather, baked) method last week and was really impressed! I had cut the potatoes into very thin wedges, so I only boiled them for about 3 minutes, but they produced very crispy and tasty homemade french fries. A perfect alternative to deep-frying! (I wish the baking method meant less of a hot oil/potato odor lingering in the house, but there was still plenty of that. Less clean-up on the stove, though.)

    I’d love to try this potato method with this cut of potato and your gravy, and either this cheese-and-herb combo or the cheese curds! Yummm

    • Jennifer M says:

      I liked the results from this method and not too much extra work at all. I don’t notice the oven-baked odour as much as deep frying. Deep frying smells seems to stick around my house for days afterwards.

      You should do what I did and make one batch of fries and gravy, but try both toppings!

  • I’ll have to try the parboiling before baking method, my family loves home cooked fries. Mouthwatering photos!

  • I love this lightened up version of poutine! We moved to England from Canada 3 years ago and both my husband and I miss poutine, and especially, lament the lack of cheese curds in London. I’ve combined mozzarella cheese and halloumi in the past and it was not the real deal but still “hit the spot”. I am SO pinning this recipe and trying it asap! Thank you for sharing. :-)

  • My God This looks so amazing! Definitely this one has to try today!

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