I am a scientist who loves to cook because there are many similarities between working in a lab and cooking in a kitchen. I love to share my cooking experience with you and to inspire others to cook.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Homemade oven fries (follow up)

Here are some information after some research. Again, should have done this before attempting any new dish

1) The oven needs to be >400F. I set it at 350F in my first try.
2) It takes about 15 minutes for a gas oven to reach that temperature.
3) Minimum cooking time is 30 minutes

I will also tweak my preparation of the potato

1) Cut it into wedges, not thin slices
2) Toss the wedges in oil and salt, not with brush
3) Lay the wedges skin side down so that they "stand" up like water melon wedges
4) Use a baking sheet, not a cake pan. Cooking sheet has more open space to allow even heat transfer while a cake pan has four sides that only allow heat from the top.

I am excited about doing this again, but I need to get a baking sheet first.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Homemade Oven Fries

How many times did you read or hear or see someone describing this recipe saying "cut the potato, drizzle with some oil and salt. Put it in the oven and you got yourself some homemade fries".

For unknown reason SL decided to leave me one potato unused when she made a pot of mashed potato (yummy!). What can I do with one potato?  SL made some homemade oven fries a few weeks ago and I loved it so I decided to make it myself.

I did not read any recipe nor follow any tips/guides/advices. In hindsight, a mistake.

I cut the potato into ~2-3cm thick slices, used a brush to apply cooking oil on both sides of the sliced potato, and spread the potato on an oiled non-stick baking pan. The oven was turned to 350degree for less than 10 minutes before i popped the potato in. (note to self: plan ahead and give the oven sufficient time to reach the right temperature. How long does it take a fire-heated oven to reach 350degree?).

After 15 minutes, the potato remained soft (where's the crunch??). I tried to flip the potato and it stuck to the pan and began to crumble. In the end, I made mashed potato out of them.

Here are some thoughts for future research.
a) why does the potato stick to the pan when I am using a non-stick pan
b) why is the potato still soft after 20 minutes of baking? Could it be the temperature problem? Should I leave it inside the oven longer?
c) Do I need to make sure that the potato is extremely dry before putting it in the oven? This might be the key