Spat Over Spuds

By 4 m read
Spat over Spuds
Spat over Spuds (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

The Spud Wars have begun!  


I decided I was going to make the most delicious french fries the world had ever tasted! I chopped and boiled and fried and tossed and baked…and it was a disaster. The potatoes were overcooked and stuck to the pan and just generally fell apart into something resembling chunky mashed potatoes. As my dad is famous for saying…”Oh well.” I’ll just have to do what I can to improve my recipe and try again.


Erich then decided he wanted to try his own french fry recipe. Great! Until he started trash talking…singing ♪ No time for losers…♪ and laughing like some evil genius. Oh, it’s on buddy! And thus the Spat Over Spuds began…


We both worked in the kitchen at the same time…bumping into each other, with a few comments of “You’re in my way….” but laughing the whole time. You see, this is hardly the first time we’ve competed over recipes. We didn’t agree on anything about each other’s recipes…except that we both wanted to use Russet potatoes.


We each managed to complete our french fries, each claiming (repeatedly) that ours were going to win, and then sat down together for taste testing. Below you will find recipes for both of our fries, and decide which you like best. You’ll have to wait until the end, though, to find out whose fry we chose as the winner.


Erich’s Fries

Spat over Spuds - Finished crispy oven-baked fries
Finished crispy oven-baked fries (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

After scrubbing the potatoes, I cut them into 1/4″ sticks. I then put them in a bowl and poured hot water from the faucet over them and let stand for about 10 minutes. This process helps to remove some of the starch and prevents the sugars from browning too quickly. You could also let them sit in cold water for an hour or even overnight in the fridge.

Spat over Spuds - Drying the sliced fries
Drying the sliced fries (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Next, dry your fires really, really good. Use a towel (or two) and make sure they are dry! You could also let them air dry. Coat your baking sheet with half the olive oil. Put the dry potatoes in a bowl, sprinkle with other half of the olive oil, add all the spices, and give it a good stir (I prefer to use my hands). Then toss them onto your baking sheet and make sure they’re in one single layer.

Spat over Spuds - Baking toward perfection
Baking toward perfection (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

In the preheated oven (450℉) they go. After 20 minutes, turn with a spatula (and make sure it’s in a single layer again), and bake for another 10 minutes.


Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 lb russet potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp dill weed
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked ground pepper


Viana’s Fries

Spat over Spuds - Finished rosemary-parmesan fries
Finished rosemary-parmesan fries (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

After scrubbing the potatoes with a vegetable brush, I cut them in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 4 long & thick wedges, about 3/4” wide on the skin side. Once a pot of salted water came to a boil, I then dropped the potatoes in, let them boil for 5 minutes, and drained them in a colander.

Spat over Spuds - Sliced potato wedges
Sliced potato wedges (Photo by Viana Boenzli)

In order to get a light crispy crust, I heated 3 Tbsp oil in a non-stick pan (very important that it’s non-stick, trust me) and lightly fried the wedges on med-high for 4-5 minutes per side.  


Next, I mixed the spices together in a bowl: 3 Tbsp oil, 3 Tbsp flour, 6 tsp coarse salt, and 3 sprigs of rosemary. I then tossed the warm potatoes in this mixture and placed them on an oiled baking sheet. If any of your mixture doesn’t stick to the wedges, no problem…just scoop it out and spoon it over the top of the potatoes on the baking sheet.  

Spat Over Spuds - Ready for the oven (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
Ready for the oven (Photo by Viana Boenzli)

I then baked the fries at 450℉ for 15 minutes, flipping them over halfway through. Serve.


Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 3 russet potatoes
  • 3 Tbsp oil for frying
  • 3 Tbsp oil with spices
  • 1 Tbsp oil for baking sheet
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 6 tsp coarse salt
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated


Once both recipes were finished, we sat down at the table and started taste testing. We each tasted one of my fries, then Erich’s. This is where it got really interesting…


Erich liked mine better and I liked his better!  


We decided that my fries paired wonderfully with the Malbec wine we were drinking…and Erich’s fries paired perfectly with the juicy burger he cooked for dinner. Viana’s fries were crusty on the outside, with the savory saltiness of Parmesan, while soft and creamy on the inside…perfect alongside steak and a glass of wine, or even as an appetizer by itself. Erich’s fries were crispy on the outside, with an amazing blend of herbs and spices, and you felt that you could just keep eating them alongside a burger and a beer, while watching a hockey game.


In the end, it was a tie… something neither one of us suspected, as we were both so sure we were each going to win…  


What type of fries are your favorite? Share your recipe with us, and maybe we’ll try it too!

Spat over Spuds - Mmm, they were delicious!
Mmm, they were delicious! (Photo by Erich Boenzli)


Did you make one of these spuds recipes? Let us know in the comments below!

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