Joy the Baker

Crunchy Oven Baked Fries with Herbes de Provence

March 4, 2009

Oven Baked Fries with Herbes de Provence

I’m a flake.

Ok… maybe that’s a little harsh.

I flaked on plans I made last Friday night, and I felt guilty until exactly this morning.

See… (I’ll try keep this short) I was supposed to go to see a friend’s play on Friday night.  You know,  it’s just one of those things you do.  Friend.  Theater.  You just go see it.

I was on the list.  The play was showing walking distance from my house.  I had no other plans.  The weather was gorgeous.  Really… I’d have to be a complete jerkface to not show up, right?  Well I didn’t, and here’s why…

I threw on my favorite jeans.  I was wearing my cute jacket and scarf.  I walked myself over to the theater feeling pretty good about the world.  That’s when I saw it:  a crowd of strangers.  I froze.  All the charm and clever wit that I might have possessed simply drained out of my system.  I suppose that happens to the best of us sometimes.  In my case, rather than facing my spontaneous fear of strangers, I turned myself right around and walked back home.

On the way home I concocted an elaborate lie to tell my friend the next time I saw him.  It was full of stress, drama, lost time and regret.  I stopped myself.  Literally.  In the middle of my street.

Why lie?  Why not keep it simple?  Why not express a little vulnerability?  Why not just say I couldn’t handle strangerdanger that particular night?

That’s just what I did.  Next time I say my friend, I simply apologized, looked him directly in the eye and told him what a ‘fraidycat I was.  It felt like one of those simply, human moments when you just lay it all out there for better or worse.

Life is complicated enough.  Why disguise your vulnerabilities with lies?  And why disguise your potatoes with a bunch of nonsense?

Oven Baked Fries with Herbes de Provence

Oven Baked Fries with Herbes de Provence

There are few things in the world more simple and honest that a potato.

These Oven Baked Fries with Herbes de Provence are a lovely way to celebrate simplicity.  Herbes de Provence is a spice mixture that usually contains thyme, rosemary, basil, bay leaf, marjoram and lavender.  It’s gentle and kind, and a classy touch to these oven potatoes.

Oven Baked Fries with Herbes de Provence

Oven Baked Fries with Herbes de Provence

Crunchy Oven Baked Fries with Herbes de Provence

inspired by Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes

Print this Recipe!

serves 3 or 4 (about a potato per person)

3 or 4 medium sized Russet potatoes, rinsed and dried (you can peel them if you like)

2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil plus 1 teaspoon (or olive oil if you have it on hand)

1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence

1/2 – 1 teaspoon sea salt (depending on how salty you like your fries)

Oven Baked Fries with Herbes de Provence

Oven Baked Fries with Herbes de Provence

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Pour 1 teaspoon of oil on baking sheet and spread around with a paper towel, greasing the sheet before you add the potatoes.

Slice cleaned potatoes lengthwise into 1/3″ thick slices, then slice those slices into smaller potato strips.  Place on the baking sheet and drizzle with 2 Tablespoons of oil.  Toss the potatoes in the oil to coat.  Place in oven for 25- 35 minutes, removing the tray every 10 minutes to toss and stir the potatoes, then returning to the oven.  Cook until browned and irresistable.

Remove from the oven and immediatley add salt and Herbes de Provence.  Toss and serve.

Oven Baked Fries with Herbes de Provence


71 Comments Add A Comment

  • I’m glad I’m not alone about the strangerdanger :). I feel the same way, and I would have done the same thing as you did. I made oven-baked fries two days in a row this past week. I guess I will have to make some more hehe.

  • Awww, Joy! You should try and think of strangers like us, the people who love you and your little musings out here in blog land. You obviously are brave enough to tell us the truth, which is way scarier than just standing around some people you don’t know.

  • Hey, strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet, right? Yeah! … Well, at least that’s what I try to embody, when I’m not busy trying to muster up enough courage to leave the house. Weee!

    Just like potatoes are delicious fries I haven’t made yet…

  • Joy, these look fab. I adore herbs de provence and I like how thin these fries are.

    Also, I am a stranger but I swear if we met I would be nice to you. I may hug you, too. I hope that’s ok.

  • Sometimes you just have to be a grown-up and tell the truth. It actually feels better afterward. Good for you!

  • Those look amazing! So crisp and fresh! Herbes de Provence takes anything up to a new level of greatness :)

  • I honestly don’t know what I like most about your blog: the writing, the gorgeous pictures or the food :) Great post and delicious looking potatoes :)

  • Oh, I do love a good potato, and combined with Herbs de Provence, you really can’t go wrong!

  • Good for you! Way to tell your friend the truth. Plain and simple is the way to go. And while we’re on the topic of simplicity and honesty, can I admit to you how amazing these potatoes look? I mean, they look so delicious that I’m coveting the fact that you have them and I don’t. I have to make these soon!

  • i absolutely love how you related your personal anecdote to potatoes so succinctly. and just to let you know, i have absolutely done the same thing in such an awkward circumstance, but i usually follow through with the elaborate fabrication/lie. you did the right thing!

    (ps. potatoes look good too! )

  • Never fear- I’m the same way. Granted, I live in NYC, so I’m constantly surrounded by strangers… but if I’m supposed to go to an event filled with people I don’t know I get a major case of the willies. I’m completely awkward and uncomfortable at parties, unless I know a good chunk of people there. I like to pretend I’m all suave but the fact of the matter is I’m pretty darned awkward. haha. I find it funny that it’s so easy to be so open on one’s blog, or perform in front of thousands of people with relative ease but, man, try to get me to go to a quasi strange place with strange people and I’m suddenly chicken. If I have to go, sometimes I’ll try to channel one of my brazen friends. Sometimes it helps. I also like to wear something that is interesting, because it can be a good ice breaker.

    Anyway, the fries look delicious (i’ve definitely been craving some lately), and I *love* your site. You make me want to bust out my (as-yet-unpurchased) rolling pin and dive into my grandmother’s rugelach recipe. It’s so awesome it inspired little me to speak my first word (and bang on the fridge).

  • Oh, I feel exactly the same way. About strangers and potatoes.

    I’m new to your blog and am really loving it. I live in LA too and happy to know I share this city with such an interesting, talented person!

  • The next time you get stranger jitters, just take a deep breath, and say to yourself, “I AM AWESOME!”. We all think you are. Clearly, these fries are proof positive of your awesomeness.

  • Oh these look so good. I made something similar with sweet potatoes, minus the herbs.

  • What a relief to find out that there are others in the world with a fear of strangers. I probably would have done the same thing. And kudos for keeping things simple. Your oven baked fries look delicious!

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