Update 1/26/12: These are my go-to fries that I have been making for consistently for over a year now, and I have some updates and revisions to the recipe.
So this is what my son gets when he whines...and whines... and whines for french fries. He's old enough to know that McDonald's and Burger King have fries, and smart enough to realize we very, very, rarely ever get fries from those places.
So when I asked my son what he wanted for lunch one day...I know, it's almost a dumb idea to ask a 2 1/2 year old their food preferences...he asked for fries. I had seen this earlier at Lynn's Kitchen Adventures, and I had a 10 pound bag of potatoes from the Easter sales hanging out in my cupboard, so it was an easy dish to put together for a weekday lunch.
After I cut the potatoes into thin potato fries (think McDonald's size), I soak them in a large bowl of water to remove some of the starch, (this is also a great way to prep them ahead of time) then dry the potatoes off with a kitchen towel or paper towels before tossing them on the cookie sheet with the vegetable oil.
Also, don't be afraid to let the fries brown up - this is what makes them crisp. If you've ever had fries from Five Guys, you know what I'm talking about, but if you are afraid of letting them let brown, you will forever have limp fries. And that's a bummer.
I have quit buying the bags of frozen fries because I almost always have potatoes on hand. These fries are only a minimal amount of work more than the bagged version, but taste phenomenally better.
recipe adapted from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures
1-2 pounds of russet/baking potatoes
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Peel potatoes and cut potatoes into french fry size sticks. Toss potatoes in oil on a large cookie sheet (give 'em room to crisp up - don't crowd them) Bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes, stirring two to three times or until edges are crisp, and the potatoes are browned. Season with kosher salt, to taste. If there is alot of oil left in the pan, remove the fries to a paper towel lined plate to absorb some of the oil. Serve.