Sunday, January 8, 2017

Oven-Baked Fries

THE GAME: Giants vs Packers. 

My God those first three NFL playoff games were atrocious. I can't ever remember a more boring start to the playoffs. At one point during the Seahawks-Lions last night, I switched over and watched at least twenty minutes of a 16-year-old episode of Huell Howser.

It was about flying fish. Huell was wearing an aloha shirt with a map of Catalina on it.

It was still ten times more entertaining than the football game.

This morning's game was even more boring. I do not believe I have ever seen a worse 10-win team than Miami.

I had hoped that New York and Green Bay could give us our first exciting game of the weekend. (Spoiler: they couldn't.)

There is almost no food I like more than fried - especially double-fried - potatoes, but as I wrote the other day, I'm eating a little healthier to start the year. (Although, what I'm planning to make for the National Championship game tomorrow will most definitely not be healthy.)

However, I must admit, if you do the prep work and are willing to wait almost an hour, you can make fries in the oven that are delicious in their own way.

NOTES ON THE FOOD: 

  • The same principle applies to baking fries as it does frying: you want to remove as much starch as possible to get them crispy. I soaked mine in a bowl of water for at least six hours, then rinsed them off and dried them in a towel. 
  • I tossed them in a bag with a half-tablespoon of olive oil, then roasted them in the oven at 400º for 30 minutes, at which point I flipped them and turned up the heat to 500º for 20 minutes. 
  • During the last five minutes of cooking, I tossed the fries with a Chesapeake Bay-style seasoning (basically salt, pepper, celery seed and paprika; it's just a generic-brand clone of Old Bay seasoning). 
  • I selected a trio of ketchups: Williams Sonoma Bloody Mary and Ballymaloe Irish Ketchup with Stout, both of which I have mentioned before. I also added a new one that I just acquired - Georgia's Gourmet Tomato Ketchup. 
  • Georgia's Gourmet might well be the best ketchup I have ever had. It uses light brown sugar as its only sweetener, yielding a deep, roasted tomato taste without the cloying sweetness that accompanies the ketchups you find in most grocery stores. 

NOTES ON THE GAME:

  • Damn, it's looks cold at Lambeau. 
  • That's a couple of huge dropped touchdown passes for the Giants on their first drive. It's probably not because both receivers were hanging out on a yacht on their day off last week... but it's still fun to pretend like it is. (Also, if I make non-sequitur arguments like that, maybe I could get a job at ESPN one day.) 
  • Is it wrong that when they showed a clip of ODB Jr. warming up with his shirt off, my first thought was of Sharif in Menace II Society ("You know us black folks not used to this cold air!")? It feels like it should be wrong. 
  • The offensive line just gave Rodgers about 30 seconds to throw the pass, he did, and Joe Buck gushed "Rodgers is fearless!" What the fuck does that even mean? 
  • I'm watching the game with my 19-year-old cousin; she is not exactly a football expert. (I asked her if she knows where Green Bay is and she guessed either San Francisco or Oregon.) She heard Buck say that and she laughed and exclaimed "What would he be afraid of?" 
  • I tried to explain to her that Rogers could kick a puppy and the media would find a way to excuse it. 
  • Has New York converted a third down yet? I'm gonna look it up... turns out they are 2-9 on third downs. I guess I missed those two. 
  • The Giants defense just let a receiver get behind them in the end zone... on a Hail Mary. How does that happen? Troy Aikman correctly pointed out "that is inexcusable." 
  • Joe Buck, predictably, credited Aaron Rodgers for throwing a great Hail Mary. No, I'm not making that up. 
  • New York outgained Green Bay in the first half and led for the first 28 minutes. It feels like they should be up 7 points right now, and they're down 8. 
  • At any rate, they deserve to lose this game if for no other reason than allowing that Hail Mary. 
  • Paul Perkins keeps getting more fun to watch. Man, if only he'd stayed at UCLA for his senior season he might have... well, no, nevermind... he probably would have gotten hurt. 
  • Does anyone else remember when Julius Peppers played basketball at UNC?
  • Green Bay going for it on 4th-and-1 on their own side of the field was... an interesting call. 
  • New York scored two plays later... but then their defense allowed Green Bay to drive the whole field and score. An exciting few minutes but we're right back at the same 8-point lead for Green Bay.
  • Hmm. Bobby Rainey received the kickoff and went out of bounds at his own three-yard-line. Not exactly ideal. 
  • Yep, that sealed the deal. New York had a short punt, Green Bay scored, and this game is out of reach. 
  • Final score: 38-13. 
  • You know, next weekend I might actually cheer for the Cowboys in a playoff game for the first time in 24 years. 

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