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I often have to use frozen (potato) fries as a component in dishes. Usually, I douse them in garlic sauce and ketchup, but that doesn't really add much to them.

What can I do to dress them up and make them a stronger component in dishes?

They're also usually soggy and soft, and don't crisp well at all (they usually end up burned if I try to crisp them).

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Having never seen FF as a component in a dish...whats an example of such a dish? – rfusca Nov 12 '11 at 21:42
@rfusca my wife's family often use it in shawarma (mediterranian wraps) and in (chicken) sandwiches and the like. – ashes999 Nov 12 '11 at 22:07
Is it possible for you to clarify exactly what your goals are? The part about getting them crisp is a good question on its own, but "dressing them up" reads to me like What can I add to X. If you can give specific examples of how you're using these fries and what's wrong with the result then great, otherwise I think you should focus on the crispness. – Aaronut Nov 13 '11 at 18:35
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I always find that frozen fries get much crisper if you heat the baking sheet before you put the fries on it.

Personally I just like to season my fries with salt (I try and use a decent sea or rock salt rather than the cheap table stuff as it does make a big difference), but you could also sprinkle other spices and seasonings onto the fries before you bake them to make them taste a bit more exciting. Paprika, cayenne or garlic salt would all work nicely.

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+1 won't the spices burn if they bake, like paprica/garlic-salt? – ashes999 Nov 12 '11 at 22:07

I would avoid the frozen ones altogether and make my own 'oven fries'. Cut some potatoes into fries, part-boil them for 3 minutes, drain and let them steam dry. Meanwhile heat a tray with 5mm olive oil in the oven at about 180C. Once it's hot, add the fries and roast for 30-35 minutes, turning halfway through (you can throw in a couple of whole garlic cloves as well to add flavour). Easy, crispy, and much tastier than frozen.

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