All-American Baked French Fries with Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Although originally from Belgium, Thomas Jefferson was thought to have first served this American favorite in 1802 at the White House. He called them, “Potatoes in the French manner”.

Recently for a photo shoot at my house French Fries were the subject,  but I decided there was no way I was actually going to “fry” them. I don’t like to fry in my house…the smell lingers and I always seem to splatter myself with hot oil. Baking is friendlier and  healthier.  It’s so easy to cut up a few Russet potatoes into long, thin sticks.  A few sheet pans of hand cut potatoes tossed in olive oil and dusted with sea salt and a very generous grinding of cracked black pepper and eating them hot out of the oven, with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice is a pleasure.

Listen to this wake-up classic version of “Star Spangled Banner” while you work, Jimmy Hendrix playing “Star Spangled Banner” at Woodstock,   

No peeling necessary…..

…lined up side-by-side ready for the oven. After they are baked, turn off the oven and leave them in to keep warm unless you are eating immediately, which I recommend.

Try dipping then in ketchup and mayo all smeared together on a platter. This is how we do it. Wouter likes mayo, I like both.

All-American Baked French Fries with Sea Salt and Black Pepper

  • Servings: 4
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  • 4 large baking potatoes, Russet potatoes, rinsed and patted dry
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • one lemon, cut into quarters
  • ketchup and mayo if you like


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut unpeeled potatoes into sticks. They will all end up being odd shapes and not uniform for the most part, but that’s how hand-cut fries are.
  3. In a large bowl toss together a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkling of sea salt and a generous grind of black pepper. (at this point you could also add other herbs or garlic, etc if you like).
  4. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with olive oil or vegetable spray.
  5. Spread cut potatoes out flat on parchment lined pans. Do not overlap.
  6. Bake for about 12-15 minutes. Turn pans around in oven and bake for another 12-15 minutes or until crisped and browned. Serve immediately or keep in turned-off warm oven until ready.
  7. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon and your favorite condiments…we like ketchup and mayonnaise together.

Teresa Blackburn



10 thoughts on “All-American Baked French Fries with Sea Salt and Black Pepper

  1. French fries look great but I don’t really eat them. However, I am very thankful for the link to Hendrix. It really made my day!!

    1. I cannot tell you have much I love these fries…they aren’t as crisp as restaurant fries but they actually taste like a potato! Give that mandoline a go and make some fries…thanks much.

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