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Beer Soaked Oven Fries

Beer Soaked Oven Fries

People have irrational culinary fears, I get it. Some people avoid recipes using yeast like they are circus clowns in a dark alley. Some people can’t wrap their brains around the idea of plunging food into hot oil without a spotter. I have an irrational fear of mall Santas so I get it, there are just some things we tend to avoid.

Although I assure you, you’d be just fine if you wanted to fry these suckers in hot oil. I also assure you that if you bought a deep fryer your football parties will never be the same. But if you aren’t there yet, I get it.

I spent most of the summer cooking everything I ate on my backyard grill, taunting the grill-less into Sad Face reactions. One of my go-to sides was grilled french fries. I cut them large enough as not to slip through the grates and I learned that soaking them in a salt brine gave you that creamy middle and crispy outside that you really want in your french fries.

Now that most the grills in America are covered in the unsavory film of winter, I’ve switched to the oven method. The salt water soak is still the way to go when you want that creamy/crispy combo, and letting the baking sheet heat up in the oven will give you more of that golden brown outside that you’d get from that scary vat of hot oil.

Although I do promise that if you do decide to deep fry your potatoes, you’ll be fine. It’s not that scary, not like, say a grown man in a red suit that lurks near a Hollister.

Beer Soaked Oven Fries3

Beer Soaked Oven Fries


  • 1.5 lbs russet potatoes
  • 12 ounces pale ale
  • 1 tbs kosher salt
  • water
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp sugar


  1. Cut the potatoes into ½ inch strips.
  2. In a large bowl add the beer and 1 tbs kosher salt. Add the potatoes to the beer, add just enough water that the potatoes are fully submerged, about 1 to 2 cups.
  3. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours and up to 12.
  4. Move the oven rack to the top 1/3 of the oven, place a rimed metal baking sheet on the rack. Preheat oven to 425.
  5. Drain the potatoes and rinse well. Place on a stack of paper towels and pat dry. Add to a large bowl, drizzle with canola oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, sea salt, black pepper and sugar. Toss until well coated.
  6. Pour the potatoes onto the baking sheet in an even layer.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn with a spatula and bake until golden brown, an additional 15-20 minutes.

Beer Soaked Oven Fries2

Beer Braised Potatoes With Rosemary Beer Gravy


A reader from Iceland emailed me last week to ask what I listen to when I’m cooking. "You seem like a music girl," she said.

Music, food, beer, it all seems to be a different parts of the same creature and just like food can find a matched pair with beer or wine, music is the same way.

Making these potatoes I was lured to music that was timeless, earthy and effortless. Here is a bit of that list:

Something In The Way She Moves, James Taylor

Tampa To Tulsa, The Jayhawks

Torn In My Pride, The Black Crows

Fortune Teller, Robert Plant

Wicker Chair, Kings Of Leon (this was off a Demo they made before they were famous, handed to me late one night on Sunset by Nathan. I’m not sure if it is still available online, but I still listen to that Demo all the time)

Red House, Shudder To Think

Duncan, Delta Spirit


Between prep, braise and eating, this is the music that joined me and the potatoes in the kitchen. A slow, lazy Sunday afternoon playlist that was a perfect compliment to a timeless potato dish.

And the beer that came along for the ride was Damnation by Russian River. A Belgian style beer that gave the starch in the potatoes a beautiful push forward in taste. If you’re a craft beer fan, or just starting to grow in curiosity about the subject, Russian River should be counted among the Craft Beer Meccas of the world. Seek out the beers they make, and plan to stop by the brewery if you ever find yourself in Northern California, or the West Coast, for that matter.



Beer Braised Potatoes With Rosemary Beer Gravy

Beer Braised Potatoes With Rosemary Beer Gravy


    For The Potatoes:
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 large shallot, chopped (1/3 cup)
  • 1 lbs red potatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • For The Gravy:
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 325. In an oven safe Dutch Oven or pot with a lid (check that all knobs are oven safe) melt butter. Add the shallots and cook until soft, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the potatoes and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, pour beer over potatoes, add rosemary, pepper and salt. Cover with lid and place pot in the oven until potatoes are fork tender, about 18-20 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and return to stove. Using a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes and set aside.
  5. Add the flour and stock, whisk over medium high heat until thickened, about 3 minutes. Serve potatoes with gravy.

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Jalapeno Popper Filled Potato Bites

Everyone has guilty pleasure foods. No matter how "foodie" you think you are, there is a food that you love, but would never want to be eating if Thomas Keller decided to peek in your kitchen window. 

For me, that’s good ole American bar food. Nachos, potato skins, jalapeno poppers, onion rings. Love it. Plus, it just brings up good memories. Do you have any BAD memories of eating chicken wings and drinking a beer? 

Here are two of my great guilt pleasure loves, in one bite. The love child of Jalapeno Poppers and Potato Skins. 

Jalapeno Popper Filled Potato Bites

12 baby red potatoes

3 tbs butter

1/2 cup chopped red onion

4 cloves of garlic, minced

4 medium sized fresh jalapenos, seeded and chopped

8 oz cream cheese

1/2 cup parmesan cheese 

4 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped (you can leave this out if you are vegetarian)

1/2 tsp Kosher or sea salt

1/2 tsp pepper

In a large pot of lightly salted water, boil the potatoes until fork tender, about 18-22 minutes. You want the potatoes to be soft enough to bite into, but firm enough to hold their shape as mini cups. 

Remove from water and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Cut each potato in half, down the middle. You want to cut the potatoes in a way that will allow them to lay as flat as possible. The best may to do this is to just place them on a flat surface and see how they naturally want to lay and cut parallel to the surface they are sitting on. If you cut them according to what looks nice, they may roll all over once they are filled. 

Once they are cut, remove most of the inside with a mellon baller, leaving enough of the walls and bottom intact to hold the filling. 

Make sure and save that potato middles you just scooped out, you will add them to the filling. 

In a pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook until opaque. Add the jalapenos and stir, cooking until Jalapenos are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat and add the potato middles and mash with a potato masher until combined. Return to heat and add the bacon, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and stir until cheese is melted. Allow to cool, then fill the potatoes. Serve warm. 

Printable: Jalpeno Popper Potato Bites

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