Ok, faux french fries are really baked french fries. So, there is an oxymoron in the title here. But, they are still swell and work almost as well as the real thing. The recipe comes from Dean Ornish, where they are called Jean-Marc's Oven "Fries" complete with scare quotes. Ornish says: "Life without french fries would be sad indeed. These golden "faux" fries will satisfy any cravings you have for the other kind" (p. 216, Everyday Cooking with Dr. Dean Ornish). The nature of the other kind is, perhaps, hinted at by Ornish's subtitle: 150 Easy, Low Fat, High Flavor Recipes. I have been making these low fat "fries", on occasion, for a few years. They come close to being a comfort food.
Don't know who Ornish is? Well, for a while everyone I knew was using his cookbooks. He consulted with so-called gourmets, so that foodies could actually try to eat healthily. And healthy was defined in particular forms -- low fat being key. When I looked him up on the web, I discovered that he founded the Preventive Medicine Research Institute -- which focuses on more than food. In addition to nutrition, the focus includes stress management, exercise and social support (also described as connection). There are sites for his comprehensive lifestyle change research in Pennsylvania and West Virginia hospitals. ANd, his website includes both prevention and reversalfood-related guidelines;for details, click here.
And the "fries"--well, here's my mildly modified version of his recipe, which is pretty darn simple and virtually identical to various recipes for baked "fries":
2. Cut the potato in half, the long way, and then make slices about 1/4 inch wide. Each slice can then be sliced again tomake french-fry-shaped potatoes! Soak the fries in room temperature water until you are ready to bake them.(This both prevents browning and removes some starch, making for crunchier fries.)
3. Bake in an oven preheated to somewhere between 425 degrees and 475 degrees. (Ornish calls for 475, but I never quite remember and the recipe works for anywhere in between.) I follow Ornish's advice and put parchment paper on my baking sheets. I do NOT follow his advice to spray the pan with an oily product. I do not use coarse sea salt (tried it, didn't like it); I use either kosher salt or ordinary table salt. I salt both before and after baking. The baking takes circa 20 minutes; I bake for 12 minutes or so and then move the "fries" around a bit.
4. Eat them in front of the television watching a movie. If you need another vegetable in your diet, go for ketchup (aka catsup).