Crispy Homemade Fries


Everyone has a secret indulgence, wouldn’t you agree?! 🙂 One of mine is fries! Not the fast food type, but real good fries that are perfectly crisp on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. You know the type that I am talking about – the kind that doesn’t get limp and lifeless as soon as you scoop it out of the oil! Yes, that kind!

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Yes, yes, I am talking about the deep fried version. Yikes! But once in a while, it’s OK to eat a few of these without any guilt. Of late, I am following the principle of “limit, not restrict”. I feel it works better for me and my family to actually treat ourselves to “normal” food so we don’t feel deprived. Do I over-indulge often?? Of course not! But when I do prepare a not-so-light versions of anything, I allow myself to enjoy them shamelessly within bounds! And hence these fries!

These fries are lightly coated in a very thin batter, drained off of any excess and fried at high temperature so the oil doesn’t get soaked into the spuds. You can hold them in a low-temp oven till you are done with all the batches, so they remain crisp and delicious when it is time to serve!


Crispy Homemade Fries

  • Servings: 4
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2 medium size russet potatoes
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 – 1 cup cold water
Oil for deep frying

1. Vigorously scrub the potatoes and rinse under cold water.
2. Slice them into long strips, about 1/4 inch wide on all four sides (or slightly bigger). Cover them with cold water (feel free to add few ice cubes) and let stand for about 20 minutes or so.
3. While the potato is standing in water, prepare the batter by mixing the flour with all other ingredients, EXCEPT the oil. Adjust the seasonings as desired. Batter should be fairly thin to coat the spuds and easily drip off.
4. Drain the potatoes and pat them dry with a kitchen towel or paper towel.
5. Heat at least an inch deep of oil in a shallow frying pan over medium-high heat.
6. Dip the potato strips lightly in the prepared batter and let any excess drip off. Do this one at a time. Drop them into the hot oil. Fry for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally till the fries are golden brown and crisp.
7. Transfer the fries to a baking tray in a preheated warm oven (about 200-225F) till you are done frying everything. Serve immediately.

Creamy Potato-Broccoli Soup


I love creamy soups – broccoli-cheddar, baked potato and leek….But if you order them at any restaurant, you can be assured of ingesting few days’ worth of sodium and fat! So, I usually reserve these cravings for times when I can prepare these at home.

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I usually resort to a roux-based sauce made with 1% milk and a bit of light cream – if I am particularly brave! Mix in some 2% reduced fat or regular cheddar cheese and I promise you, you won’t miss the full-fat version! In fact, you might actually not even feel a tiny speck of guilt going for a second bowl! At least I didn’t! 🙂 Lastly, instead of typical chicken or vegetable broth, I used just water. With the addition of crushed dried herbs, taste was not sacrificed. Feel free to substitute this with broth if you so choose.

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Even though the title says potato-broccoli, I did amp up the veggie count by adding plenty of chopped carrots, celery and bit of red pepper. This soup was quite hearty without having to chow down on a bread roll – although go for it if you must!


Creamy Potato-Broccoli Soup

  • Servings: 4-5
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2 cups broccoli, cut into small pieces
2 medium potatoes, cut into small cubes
2 medium carrots, cut into small cubes
2 stalks of celery, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried sage, crushed
3 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 cup 1% milk
1/4 cup light cream
1/2 cup 2% reduced fat or regular grated cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon powdered cheddar cheese, optional
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a small pan, melt butter and lightly toast all-purpose flour to prepare a roux base. Remove pan from heat, let cool and stir in milk, light cream and powdered cheddar, if using. Set aside.
2. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and sauté all the vegetables except broccoli, onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes.
3. Add crushed herbs, water, salt and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20-25 minutes till all the vegetables are cooked through.
4. Add broccoli and cook for another 5 minutes.
5. Add the roux mixture and bring back to a low boil and let cook for 3 minutes or so. Stir in grated cheese.
6. Serve immediately.