Take Me Out to the Ballgame
December 14, 2007
On the day after the big baseball brou-ha-ha, it’s entirely appropriate that I share the recipe for these garlic fries. Let me explain. When Kevin and I lived in D.C., we made a very concerted effort to visit every ball park possible. Kevin, a huge Cubs fan, would propose a trip up or down the East Coast evertime the Northsiders entered the time zone. In two summers, we did pretty well: Shea Stadium, PNC Park in Pittsburgh (a really pretty park, I’ll have you know), Citizens Bank Park in Philly, Camden Yards in Baltimore and, once the Nats came to town, RFK Stadium in D.C. (nothing to write home about).
While all those trips were really fun, none of them were noteworthy for ballpark eats. Sure, we had shameful amounts of hot dogs and peanuts, but nothing out of the usual. And nothing as good as a Hebrew National dog in the Bleachers at Wrigley (topped as a Chicago-style dog should be, of course). In the midst of this East Coast ballpark blitz, my job took me to San Francisco and I took Kevin with me. As luck would have it, the Cubs were in town playing the Giants! So, naturally, we headed to the park there (frankly, it’s changed names so many times I don’t remember what it was called then).
And that, my friends, brings me to the garlic fries. At the Cubs-Giants game (where we saw Greg Maddux pitch his 300th victory), we had the most delicious ballpark food I’ve ever encountered. The garlic fries. Even roasting under an unusually hot (for San Francisco) sun, Kevin and I fought over every last garlicky fry. Since then, I’ve been trying to recreate or at least approximate this treat—preferably without engaging in deep frying. And, with this recipe, I did.
4 teaspoons canola oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 pounds peeled baking potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
2 tablespoons butter
8 garlic cloves, minced (about 5 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine first 3 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag, tossing to coat. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 50 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning after 20 minutes.
Place butter and garlic in a large nonstick skillet, and cook over low heat 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add potatoes, parsley, and Parmesan cheese to pan; toss to coat. Serve immediately.