If you've ever tried to make some decent fries at home, I'll bet they most likely sucked. now hold on there, you might be appalled and might be cursing my name in defense of your flabby, greasy tuber sticks, but the truth is the truth. hey, I'm just as guilty as the aforementioned crime against potatodom. until yesterday, that is. I had made fries before and they were nothing spectacular. you use a lot of oil and there's all the clean up and, blah, blah, blah. you get it, I know.
A couple of weeks ago, mames surprised me with anthony bourdain's Les Halles cookbook. I had borrowed this from a friend before and while it was full of good recipes, I remembered that few of them looked like things I could make with the resources we have here ( where do I find wild boar, rabbit, foie gras, etc). apparently,at the time, I didn't see the recipe for fries, because once I laid eyes on it, I knew I would have my glory day in the hot sun with this process.
you can't really stray from this recipe and get the same results. Do you have to use peanut oil? YES! that much of it? YES!! do you really need a candy thermometer to get accurate temps? ummm....I feel like you guys get the point by now, but, YES! also, you must use russets, try to get really long ones (I used "baking" potatoes). I used 1 quart plus 1 pint of peanut oil in a 3.5 quart pot. and had to do the recipe in 3 batches.
one last thing: These are the best thing ever. crispy, not greasy at all, tender and fluffy inside, you get it, I know. make them. and invite some friends over. would be great with a nice aioli, or serve with a steak for steak frites. enjoy.
french fries, pommes frites, or whatever you want to call them: (adapted from les halles cookbook) (probably should of served four...)
3 russet potatoes, (big long ones)
1 quart plus one pint peanut oil
parsley chiffonade (its for pretty)
could also season with: cajun seasoning, or a combo of parsley, lemon zest and minced garlic (have had this before and loved it)
peel the potatoes and cut them into 1/2 inch sticks. don't go too skinny, mames and i decided that the 1/2 inch ones were perfection. put them into a bowl of iced water to prevent oxidation, and leave for about 30 minutes, rinse well to get rid of starch.
put your oil into your pot and heat it up to 280F (see, that thermometer is handy right about now). what we are essentially doing here is blanching the fries first. cook the fries in batches for about 6-8 minutes. their color should be a semitranslucent white, not browning yet. remove with a skimmer and drain on a paper-towel lined baking sheet. let rest about 15 minutes.
now we are ready to fry! bring the oil up to 375F and fry the potatoes in the same sized batches for 2-3 minutes until crispy and golden brown. remove from oil with the skimmer and place fries in a large bowl, lined with paper towels (or just a clean, dry towel you don't mind washing later) sprinkle with salt (i just used plain, old kosher salt, but you could get all fancy pants and use whatever you want) and then whip out the towel, toss the fries a bit to incorporate seasoning and serve hot.
even though i did these in batches, the first batch was just as good as the last, even with the wait-time. they don't take a long time to fry after the blanching so you definitely have time to finish the process before you devour them, if you want to wait that long:) Also, after i was done, I let my oil completely cool and just funneled it back into the original bottle, ready to use for next time. thriftster...
DISH recommends:Les Halles cookbook. certainly hit a homer with that fry recipe. And I have tried the coquilles st. jacques recipe and it was equally good. check it out.