Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Break the Rules Cookin' Fries--Use Olive Oil!

Break the Rules Cookin' French Fries

Use Olive Oil!

By Cal Orey

I gotta craving for fries. I won't go to a fast food chain and order fries. No way. Ever notice how the oil used has a ghastly aftertaste? And no, those skinny yellow slices can't be healthy or a fat-fighter for you, right? So what's a French fry lover to do? Canola and olive oil come to the rescue.
In the past, I have fried up a batch of fries and I used canola oil. Did it work? Yep. I did enjoy thick, homemade hot and crispy fries. It worked. But nutritionists from coast to coast will tell you that frying food isn't the healthiest way to go--but it's fun to break the rules on a rare occasion.
Recently, however, I read on a blog that you cannot fry potatoes with olive oil for a host of reasons--from tasting bad to losing the good stuff in the oil. Then, I recalled, a while ago, I spoke with olive oil producer Dan Sciabica. I asked him about frying up a batch of French fries with olive oil. He recommended for me to bake 'em and use olive oil. Dan told me that Gemma, his mother and dear friend of mine (I include some of her wonderful recipes in my books The Healing Powers of Vinegar and The Healing Powers of Olive Oil) knows how to do it right.
So, here I sit with one of Gemma's cookbooks Cooking with California Olive Oil: Treasured Family Recipes. On page 224, it could be the potato recipe Dan was thinking of, or if not, it could certainly feed my desire (and yours) for heart-healthy tators with olive oil.

Potatoes, Peppers and Onions
Place 4 peeled and quartered potatoes, 4 garlic cloves chopped, 2 bell peppers sliced, 2 onions sliced, salt, pepper, cayenne to taste and 1/2 cup fresh basil, parsley or rosemary in a lightly greased baking pan. Drizzle with 1/4 cup white wine and 1/3 Marsala Olive Oil, toss gently. Cover with foil, bake in 350 degrees oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until fork tender.

No doubt, this easy fix for French fries is much healthier with garlic, onion, herbs, olive oil, and baking it all instead of frying up potatoes. Since I don't drink I'll skip the wine. Thanks Dan and Gemma...You're keeping my heart young, happy and healthy. P.S. If you find a tall, lanky, dark, handsome Italian chef, please put him in a box with a blue bow and UPS him to Lake Tahoe.


  1. Sign In -- and I will send you a free copy of The Healing Powers of Olive Oil. The below Select profile for Comments? Google seems to be the easiest. As soon as you sign in, email me your address.

  2. perfect. I love them. thank you very much.