I’m the kind of person who tries hard to not complain. I live a pretty idyllic sort of life: great husband, great family, great job, and I write this fun little food blog that has turned out to be so much more than I ever dreamed it would be when I started it three years ago (three years! Almost exactly!).
That said, guys, life has run me down a bit lately. Nothing bad, really. I’ve just learned the consequences of over-extending myself….I’m just really, really tired. This happens when you don’t take a moment to slow down. As you may know, September through February for me were spent basically neglecting my blog so I could study for my Board Certified Behavior Analyst exam. I’ll never regret that, because an incredible amount of effort-not to mention a considerable financial investment-has gone into this process (which, oddly enough, started at almost exactly the same time as Chattavore). And you guys, I did it! I passed! I am now a BCBA. I’ll be honest, I cried more from January to March 2014 than probably any other period of time in my life…out of frustration, exhaustion, being just plain old tired of studying, fear of not passing, nerves, impatience waiting for the results, and so on, and so on, and so on.
Funny thing is, I was sure that once I took the test all the exhaustion would pass away, which was silly of me. In fact, not even getting my results back cured the mental fog I’ve been in. I took my exam in the same month that was the busiest time of the school year for me-I had to have a meeting (each of which included a fair amount of paperwork) for each child in my class. Nearly two weeks of snow days were a blessing but spent almost exclusively in the books. I’m pretty much finished with my paperwork for the year….I’ve started running regularly again…..I’m trying to get my blogger groove back. And now I find that the last couple of weeks I’ve found myself having trouble getting out of bed. This is not normal for me. Luckily, spring break is close. My brain needs rest.
This recipe was conceived on a day when Philip and I went to a restaurant to write a review (pre-exam) and I nearly burst into tears in the parking lot because I couldn’t bear the thought of feeling the need to write a single word. So we left and went somewhere we’d already written about. My relief was palpable and I felt much better once we were seated and I decided to give myself a break. We were served some fantastic burgers with passable roasted potatoes served on the side just weren’t quite crispy enough for me. However, the aioli on the burgers tasted great with the potatoes, which gave me an idea: oven fried potato wedges with garlic aioli, which is really just garlic mayonnaise in this context because every “aioli” recipe I found called for garlic oil made with approximately 200 cloves of garlic, or perhaps four egg egg yolks and a head of roasted garlic. People, no one has time for that (though I’m sure those recipes are very, very delicious). Mayonnaise? Pressed garlic? Whisk? Done.
I made this recipe six times before getting it just right….but believe me, it’s just right. No frying involved (if this recipe looks familiar, it’s based on the same technique as my “best baked fries“). Restaurant fries are crisper than oven-cooked fries because they are double-fried to release the starch. Solution? Boil them first. And yes, 1/4 cup of oil is a lot of oil, but you are essentially turning your baking sheet into a frying pan. You aren’t going to eat it all. Just trust me.
Oven Fried Potato Wedges
|Prep time||15 minutes|
|Cook time||28 minutes|
|Total time||43 minutes|
- 2 Medium Russet potatoes (about 6 ounces each-scrubbed but not peeled)
- 1 teaspoon salt (plus more for sprinkling)
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- garlic mayonnaise for serving (optional-"recipe" in notes)
For the "garlic mayonnaise", mix 1/2 cup mayonnaise with 2-4 garlic cloves (I like a strong garlic flavor so I use three or four, tasting as I go).
|Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Bring a pot of water to boil (I used a 4-quart Dutch oven filled about 3/4 full). While the water is coming to a boil, cut the potatoes into 16 wedges each. I did this by cutting each potato in half, then cutting each half in half, and so on. If the water is not boiling by the time you finish cutting the potatoes, drop them into a bowl of cold water to prevent browning.|
|When the water boils, add the teaspoon of salt. Place the potatoes into the boiling water (using a slotted spoon if you have held them in cold water) and boil for three minutes, then drain in a large colander and allow to sit in the colander for five minutes.|
|Place the potato wedges into a large bowl. Pour the oil over the wedges, season with salt, and use your hands to carefully toss them in the oil. Spread the potato wedges over the baking sheet and pour excess oil over them.|
|Bake the potato wedges for about 13 minutes then remove them from the oven and carefully flip them (I have found tongs to be best for this task). Bake for another 12 minutes or until desired brownness is achieved.|
|Remove the wedges from the baking sheet and place on a plate lined with paper towels to remove excess oil. Serve immediately, with garlic mayonnaise if desired.|