Rule #39 in Michael Pollan’s manifesto Food Rules is that you can eat all the junk food you want, as long as you make it yourself. Hand-cutting fries and baking them at home takes some time, so they’re not an every-night sort of indulgence. But we promise that they’ll rival the house fries at your favorite restaurant. The secret is using russet potatoes, seasoning them with olive oil, mustard powder, and lots of black pepper, and then baking them in a very hot oven. They’re best eaten directly from the oven when they’re at their crispiest, served with our lightly sweet homemade honey mustard. Or try them with Awesome Sauce, Chipotle Aïoli, Creamy Cashew Sauce, or Creamy Cilantro Dressing.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 2½ pounds russet potatoes (about 6 medium)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon mustard powder
- 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoons ground black pepper
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1½ tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Cut the fries: Wash and dry the potatoes, keeping the skins on. Slice off the ends of each potato, and then slice the potato in half lengthwise. Place the potato half cut-side down and cut off a ¼-inch slice lengthwise. Lay the slice on its side and cut it into several long matchsticks (usually about 3, depending on the size of the potato). Repeat until all the potatoes have been cut into fries. The pieces can be uneven in length but aim for a uniform thickness.
- Roast the fries: Place the fries in a large bowl and combine with the olive oil, mustard powder, kosher salt, and black pepper. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats, and spread the fries on the baking sheets with as much space between them as possible. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the trays, flip the fries, and return the trays to the oven, placing each tray on the opposite oven rack. Bake another 15 minutes until the fries are crisp and golden brown, watching closely since the cooking time can depend on your oven and the thickness of the fries. Serve immediately while the fries are crispy; they become softer as they cool.
- Make the honey mustard: In a small bowl, mix the Dijon mustard, olive oil, honey, and white wine vinegar. Store refrigerated.