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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Really Good French Fries

Tonight, I made really good fries for supper.

Not the freaky frozen fries out of the freezer aisle.  That Goose and the kids eat those out of the bag in their 'natural' state still gives me significant pause.

No, I'm talkin' real fries.  The kind that eats like a meal (name that 80s commercial!)

It all starts here, in our cold cellar:

Yes, these look like harmless yard waste bags.  But they hold, deep within themselves, hidden gems.

Potatoes.  Glorious, keep forever in your root cellar potatoes.  Stored down there in the otherwise unused yard waste bags, just waiting for times such as these.

Before we go any further, we don't actually buy or use yard waste bags for their intended purpose.  Not even the cutesy little ones meant for potato peelings.  I use my garburator for that.  And I refuse to keep rotting vegetation in my house.  Generally, I fight to keep that to a minimum.  I'm all for environmentally responsible, conserving the environment and all the rest, but I draw the line at opening a buffet lunch for all the local vermin within a 100 mile radius.

But back to the really important things in life - like fries.

These are of the lovely red skin variety, freshly dug from gram and papa's garden.

They require a little more elbow grease than your standard, bought at the store potatoes, but the price is right.

Cut them up into even pieces.  Aim for something roughly the diameter of your index finger.

Unless you have Hulk Hands.

Then find a normal human to check your sizes.

No need to peel, just toss 'em in a bowl.

Now here's the secret.  Use a mixture of vinegar and water to soak them.  Preferably overnight.  The ratio of vinegar to water is up to you, depending on how much you like vinegar.  I aim for 2/3 water to 1/3 vinegar.  The kind of vinegar you use isn't terribly important, but I'd stick to regular white vinegar.  The others will work, but probably would be a waste of money.

If you don't like vinegar, please leave now.  Thank you and good riddance.

Now, for the rest of the normal civilization, any amount of time you can soak is better than none.  I would aim for 20 minutes at a minimum.

Fire up your deep fryer.

This is the temperature you are aiming for.  No more, and certainly no less.

While the oil is coming up to temperature, drain the potatoes and pat dry if necessary.  Too much moisture wrecks havoc on your oil and prevents your fries from crisping up.

Fry them up in batches.  My fryer takes about 5 minutes to get to this point.  Note that your french fries may not be entirely cooked through at this point.  Don't worry, young samurai.  Place them on a plate, sandwiched between paper towels.  The second secret is about to be revealed.

Here they are.  Just waiting to reach golden perfection.  But they look so good already, you cry!  Aha!  Looks can be so deceiving.  Do not judge a book by its cover.  And a whole lot of other cliches.

Here is the second secret:  double fry.  That's right.  Pop them in the fryer a second time.  This time, only about 2-3 minutes. They will finish cooking and be superbly crispy and crunchy.

In their final glory.  A little sea salt, next to a mushroom and onion swiss burger.  A hefty application of more vinegar.  This time, only malt will do.  And sea salt.

Now excuse me, I need to go wipe my chin.
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1 comment:

  1. Oh, I absolutely LOVE homemade fries. My mother makes the best ever. I miss living with her and having them made for me :)