Spicy Oven Baked French Fries with Cucumber Raita
Crispy oven-baked French fries are spiced up with cumin and a touch ground cayenne and served with a cool and refreshing cucumber raita for dipping.
If I was going to list my all-time favorite comfort foods, french fries would definitely be close to the top. Along with pasta, chocolate anything, burrito bowls, and crispy pork spring rolls (from my favorite Vietnamese restaurant). Not necessarily in that order. And this past weekend, I was in desperate need of some (in this case, lightened up) comfort food. In fact, I’m still a little traumatized by everything that went down. Care to indulge me? OK, thanks.
You see…we had been planning on taking Max (the cat) to the vet for a routine check-up all week. Connor had scheduled an 8:00 am appointment on Saturday morning, something I wasn’t particularly thrilled about, but decided to go along with–or at least, attempt to go along with depending on how tired I was that morning. When Saturday morning arrived, I decided to be a good cat mom and go with them. We easily tricked Max into the crate (a feat in and of itself) and had everything ready to go. Despite a little bit of loud whining on Max’s part, things were looking good…
Just as we reached the car and I was setting down the crate to grab my car keys, I heard a loud snap. What happened next seemed to occur in slow motion. The top of the pet crate snapped away from the bottom, which fell onto the ground (along with the cat), and Max, understandably, took off sprinting. Fast. And aside from knowing the general direction in which he ran, I lost sight of him within seconds. Thankfully, Connor immediately took off after him. Despite being in a state of complete shock and panic, I managed to think clearly enough to drop everything else on the ground, grab the broken crate, and run after them.
Despite losing sight of him, Connor had managed to see that Max had cornered himself between two sides of our L-shaped apartment building. After looking everywhere, I was able to spot him crouching down, completely terrified, in the grass. At this point, I was already beginning to sob hysterically, whilst calling Max’s name, and slowly trying to inch myself toward him.
Meanwhile, Connor was trying to stand back, calm me down, and attempt to piece the crate back together. Max, meanwhile, had moved and edged himself more into the corner, attempted to run into a glass basement window (which led to further sobs from my end), and begun to meow desperately. I was just trying to get closer and closer to him. Eventually, he must have realized that I was trying to help him out, let me pick him up, and carry him quickly back to the car. (Oh yes, and apparently there were several neighbors that were watching this entire fiasco go down from their windows.)
Then we drove to the vet as planned. And yes, I was still crying like a baby. Max donned a cone of shame (which funnily enough, resembles a poncho) and I vowed that I would never carry a pet crate by the handle ever again in my entire life. Then I made these fries and stuffed my face. The end.
Spicy Oven Baked French Fries with Cucumber Raita
- 1 cup whole fat Greek yogurt
- ⅓ English cucumber grated and squeezed to discard excess liquid
- 2 ounces finely crumbled feta cheese
- juice of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
- 1 garlic clove finely grated with a microplane
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large russet potatoes scrubbed and peeled
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- kosher salt
- Prepare Raita: Combine ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit in refrigerator while you prepare the fries (as it sits, the flavor will develop).
- Prepare French Fries: Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C) with a rack in the center position. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. Depending on the size of your potatoes, you may need to bake the fries in batches or use a second sheet pan.
- Scrub and peel the potatoes. Using a sharp knife, trim ends and slice lengthwise into ¼-inch slices and cut each slice into ¼-inch wide matchsticks. Place in a bowl and cover with cold water. Rinse to remove excess starch. Transfer the potatoes onto a clean kitchen linen and dry thoroughly - pat with additional linens or paper towels as necessary.
- Add the oil, cumin, and cayenne pepper in a large mixing bowl or Ziploc half-gallon bag. Add the dry fries and toss until all the french fries are evenly coate in the seasoning.
- Carefully transfer the fries to the large baking sheet. Distribute them across the pan, avoiding overcrowding them - you want a little bit of space between each fry - as this will prevent the fries from sticking and help them crisp up in the oven. Season the fries with salt and pepper.
- Bake or 15 minutes, flip the fries carefully, and bake for an additional 15 minutes or so. Turn off the oven, keep the fries inside, for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. This step will produce crispier fries. Sprinkle with salt as needed. Serve fries hot with cucumber raita sauce for dipping.
30 Comments on “Spicy Oven Baked French Fries with Cucumber Raita”
Mm these look really good, got to give these a go. Thanks for sharing.
OMG I am going thru your blog to get some ideas for dinner (LOVE your blog) and came across this story and I was dying! The exact same thing happened with us, and we have a Max cat that looks JUST like yours! I too was sobbing and covered in hair from my cat freaking out when the crate broke. I had to take him alone to the vet though, my husband showed up after all the drama!
Oh noooooo! It was so horribly traumatizing! I’m so glad your story had a happy ending too. So glad you like the blog! 🙂
I’ll happily eat french fries any day of the week. Yours look amazing! That raita sauce reminds me of tzatziki sauce (not sure if you’ve ever heard of it). Definitely need to try this recipe!
Yes! I love tzatziki–in fact, I probably could have called it that as well, haha. Thanks so much Tina!
YIKES. Yes, you definitely needed fries in your weekend. And LOADS of them.
There’s nothing worse than your pet getting away and not being able to catch him/her!! How scary!!! Glad you had these fries to console yourself. 🙂 They look perfect.
I know–here is to hoping it never happens again! Worst feeling ever. Thanks so much Nicole!
Oooooh girl! These fries look insanely GOOD.
Thanks Ashley!! 🙂
Oh my gosh, that story is so stressful! Our dogs have escaped a couple times and I was in hysterics every time…even though they were right down the street. At least those fries look and sound amazing! I’m sure they made you feel better 🙂 Glad Max is OK!
Thanks Molly! Hysterics is definitely the right way to describe the state I was in, haha. I still can’t really believe it all happened–sort of felt like a bad dream at the time, But thankfully everything turned out ok.
That big bowl of french fries is making me so hungry, and it’s only 9AM! Fries for breakfast?! Amazing!
Haha!! I’m always down for fries with or as breakfast 😉 Thanks Pamela!
Oh man! That is not a Saturday morning we all hope for, but I guess if it ended with these fries you got something out of it!! I have never had or heard of Raita, but I am always down with anything involving feta! Plus, I love greek yogurt! And obviously, french fries! These look awesome!
I guess that’s one way to look at it? HA! Raita doesn’t usually have feta in it (that’s my weird addition, but I like it)–but can’t believe you’ve never had it. I’m sure you’ve had tzatziki? The two are very, very similar. Thanks friend!
Oh, you poor thing! You needed fries, FOR SURE after that ordeal! Having fur babies ain’t always easy.
Hahah! Glad someone else approves of me stuffing my face with fries! 🙂
They look so crispy and perfect and love the dipping sauce! Pinned
Thanks so much Averie! 🙂 Means a lot.
My friend, I completely understand the trauma. The EXACT same thing happened with my brand new kitten (now 8 years old) when we were taking him in for his shots. Except we were getting out of the car at the vet when the bottom of his carrier fell out. He darted across the street, almost getting hit about 3 times and hid under a car. It is a heart-stopping moment for sure, but I’m so glad to hear your cat is alright!
Oh NO!!! That’s it, I’m officially never carrying a pet carrier by the handle EVER again. That must have been horrifying. I can’t even imagine. Connor and I kept saying how lucky we were that it happened at one part of our parking lot, and that he happened to run in that direction (rather than towards the road).
I heard about your drama/trauma from mom…it sounds like Max needs a day at the cat spa to calm down.
I think I need a day at the spa! Haha
Sending healing thoughts to Max! And these fries sound delicious. I’ve never actually made homemade French fries (terrible, I know!), but the cucumber raita definitely tempts me . . .
Thanks Meg! I’ll be sure to let Max know that you’re thinking of him 😉 I don’t make french fries all that often either, obviously the fried version is a bit more time intensive and fussy (and I’ve only made those in a commercial kitchen), but these are fun and easy!
I’ve never had raita before, can’t wait to try this!
Oh man! You have to try it–it usually is paired with spicy Indian food. It’s the best.
Just reading this made my heart miss a beat and yet again relive the story you told us last Saturday! What a traumatic day for all of you, and how incredibly fortunate that Max decided to run for cover in the right direction! You are both great “cat” parents and I am sure that Max is thrilled to be safely back home with the two of you!
Yes! He’s sort of thrilled–at least he’s getting used to the cone poncho 😉