If crispy, golden fries get you excited about life, you're in the right place. And if the flavor of truffles makes you feel like Christmas morning and the last day of school before summer vacation all rolled into one? Brace yourself for a dopamine surge.
These amazing baked Parmesan Truffle Fries are rich and decadent, but make you think you're eating healthy since they're baked instead of fried. If you love truffles when you're eating out but haven't found a way to incorporate the pricy little fungi into your home cooking routine, this may be just the recipe to do it. Keep reading for lots of tips and tricks for choosing the best truffle medium for the fries!
This is an incredibly simple recipe, perfect for the truffle lover in your life. But there are a few variables that impact the finished product. So let's dive into a few decisions you'll need to make along the way, shall we?
Let's talk about truffles!
If you're reading a recipe about truffle fries, you probably already know that real truffles are little balls of magic. Their earthy, intense flavor is prized and rare. Truffle oils are a common way to make truffle fries, but I've found them to be a challenging way to distribute the flavor across the batch of fries when using it as a finishing oil. Synthetic truffle oil has grown in popularity as it is lower cost and more widely available. It is also extremely intense and just a little drizzle can overpower a dish. If using, I recommend finding an olive oil based truffle oil in a spray can (like nonstick spray). It makes distributing the oil a much easier task.
Natural truffle oil is a better bet if you're using oils. Black truffle oil is deeply flavored and earthy. White truffle oil has a bit sharper, almost allium flavor - think white onion undertones.
My preference for these fries isn't truffle oil, but truffle salt. A small jar of truffle salt is deeply flavorful - thanks to pieces of real truffle scattered in the salt. Like the oil, a little goes a long way. But it is much easier to distribute and the salt is a natural flavor affinity for our fries. I've tried both oil and salt, and the truffle salt was a clear winner.
Let's talk about the best way to bake perfect, crispy homemade French fries
Crispy French fries are the goal, right? So what's the best way to get our raw potatoes to that ultimate crispy Parmesan truffle fries destination?
I've been making baked fries for most of my life. But in the process of creating and testing this recipe, I did a deep dive on different cutting, soaking, and baking methods and then tested until I found the results that worked the best. Here's what I tried and where I landed.
On cutting the potato, you have options from tiny shoestring potatoes up to thick potato wedges. I land somewhere in between, but definitely in the wedge shape. Hear me out.
If you cut your fries into perfect squares, you have four sides that need crisping, and most of us only turn our fries once, leaving two sides somewhere short of crispy. Still delicious, but not what I'm looking for.
If we cut our potatoes into thin-ish wedges, you have three sides, and one of them is the skin side. So you really have only two sides requiring browning - which is perfect since we turn the fries once, crisping two sides.
The next question was about preparing the potatoes for baking. Many homemade potato wedge or french fry recipes recommend some kind of soaking - either in cold water, or in cold, salted water. I have often par-cooked potatoes (usually baking whole or throwing in the microwave for a few minutes) before cutting and baking the fries to speed the process.
So I tested the fries 4 ways:
- raw, no soaking
- soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
- soaked in cold, salted water for 30 minutes
- par-cooked potatoes
Each batch of fries was baked at 400 degrees fahrenheit.
The fries took different amounts of times to reach crispness. The potatoes soaked in cold, salted water took about 35 minutes total to reach a lovely crisp texture. Potatoes soaked in plain cold water took about 10 minutes longer - around 45 minutes to reach a similar level of crispness. Raw potatoes with no soaking took 50 minutes. Finally, and surprisingly, the par-cooked potatoes took a full 55 minutes to reach crisp.
Flavor-wise, the potatoes soaked in salt water, and the raw potatoes were household favorites. Soaking the potatoes for 30 minutes and then baking for 35 reduces your bake time, but overall prep time is longer. The raw potatoes took a full 50 minutes to bake, but you shave off about 15 minutes of soaking time.
All-in-all, a fun experiment. And my biggest takeaway is that I should stop par-baking potatoes for fries in order to "save time". Who knew?
What you'll need to make this Parmesan Truffle Fries Recipe:
- medium-sized potatoes (about 5-6)
- extra virgin olive oil
- coarse sea salt
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- truffled sea salt (or 1 teaspoon real truffle oil)
- chives or parsley, for serving
(precise measurements and instructions included in the recipe card below)
Step by step instructions for making these Easy Parmesan Truffle Fries:
Clean your potatoes very well. Cut potatoes into equal wedges. I like to cut each potato in half lengthwise, then in half again. Each quarter is cut into half or thirds, depending on the size.
Fill a large bowl with enough water to cover the potato wedges and add two tablespoons of coarse sea salt. Soak the potato wedges in the salted bowl of cold water for 20-30 minutes. This process removes excess starch from the potatoes and promotes beautiful, golden brown crispness.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once potatoes have finished soaking, drain the potatoes and dry them very well on a kitchen towel or paper towels.
Toss the potatoes in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of salt. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Bake in hot oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn fries. Return to the oven and bake an additional 15 minutes, or until fries are cooked through and crispy.
Remove fries from the oven. Transfer to your serving platter. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, ½ teaspoon truffle salt (or teaspoon of truffle oil) and 2 tablespoons of fresh diced chives.
FAQ's and Serving Suggestions for Truffle Parm Fries:
In the US, russet potatoes are the go-to fry potato. Russets aren't common in Portugal, so I use a medium-sized potato that's similar to a Yukon gold. The bake up into very crispy potatoes and perfect for this application.
The truffle flavor mixed with the salty Parmesan cheese is really the star of the show here, so if you're looking to add a layer of herby goodness to the fries, stick with mild-flavored herbs like fresh chives or fresh parsley.
As we talked about above, I found truffle salt to be easier to distribute over the fries than oil, and the robust flavor was over the top delicious. But either will work! Either a drizzle of truffle oil or a sprinkling of truffle salt.
To store, transfer the crispy fries to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to two days. Honestly, fries are always better the first day, so if possible, make just enough for one sitting. If you need to reheat, bake the cooked fries on a sheet pan in a 400 degree oven until heated through and a little crisped up.
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