February 2: Root Vegetable Fries
Looking for simple, tasty and local snacks for this weekend’s gatherings? French fries are surprisingly easy to make from scratch, and versatile. For the old standby: cut local potatoes into strips, toss with oil and salt, and bake in a hot oven until crispy brown on the outside and soft on the inside. Add paprika for mild fries, and chili or garlic for spice. Don’t stop at potatoes: try rutabagas, parsnips, sweet potatoes, celeriac and butternut squash. Serve a fry medley to enjoy the full complement of sweet winter flavors.
Recipes and Cooking Tips
Different roots have different sugar and water content – both of which affect cooking time and ideal temperature. As a general rule of thumb, roots that are less sweet (potatoes, celeriac, rutabagas) can handle a higher cooking temperature (425+ degrees F) without burning, whereas sweet winter carrots, squash, sweet potatoes and parsnips are more prone to burning, and a lower temperature can be easier to manage (375-400 degrees F). Generous use of oil leads to crispier (and arguably tastier!) fries that are less likely to stick to the pan and burn – less oil requires more careful monitoring. Flipping the fries once or twice during cooking (every 10-20 minutes) will allow them to cook more evenly.
Dipping options are endless. For a quick, basic dip, puree a cup of mayonnaise or yogurt with dill, garlic, and generous squirt of mustard, and a touch of maple syrup or honey to taste. Red Fire Farm offers two other tasty seasonal dip recipes: Curried Carrot Dip and Yogurt Raita with Shallots.