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I’ve often advocated that there’s no right or wrong way of cooking things – just degrees of better and worse. To that end, when it comes to making frites, I like mine a certain way – soft on the inside, crisp on the outside. Some people like their fries soggy and limp and oily. Others may like them burnt on the outside and undercooked on the interior. That’s fine as long as you don’t ask me to eat them that way.

cutting the potatoes into planks

rinse, drain, repeat… 3 times. In cold water. At this point you can even leave them covered in water overnight. That actually makes them even crisper!

My fancy fryolater. It’s actually just what it looks like – an 8 quart stockpot with a thermometer! I’ve got about 4 quarts of oil in it, which I’m bringing up to 275 for blanching

Rule number one when deep frying; don’t get water in the oil! Ever! Alright – if you’re curious you can try it and see why, but don’t say I didn’t warn you, and don’t hold me responsible for damage to your kitchen or personal injury… I’ve drained my potatoes and I’m drying them on some paper towels while the oil heats.

Rules number two and three when deep frying; don’t overfill your fryer, and don’t turn your back on it. Even though the exterior is relatively dry, there’s still a lot of moisture on the interior of the potato. It rapidly turns to steam and causes the oil to bubble up. The easiest way to ‘manage’ the oil from boiling over the top is to have a skimmer handy and be ready to lift objects out of the fryer if it’s getting to within an inch or two of the top of the pot. Hopefully you have a big enough pot and didn’t overfill it. In which case you probably won’t have to worry…

After about 7 or 8 minutes, your potatoes are ready to come out and rest. They are ‘blanched’ now and can be cooled down, refrigerated or even frozen and kept if you want to stop here and start your fryer up on another day… Or you can continue with the process by cranking your oil up to 375 and cooking them one more time…

A few minutes at the higher temperature yields a golden brown, crisp exterior… Drain in a bowl lined with paper towels, season and serve immediately. These are delicate and the steam will eventually cause the crispness of the exterior to wane. The longer they sit, the less spectacular they will be, so eat them early and often…


One thought on “…frites…

  1. Now I am really hungry for some fries!

    Posted by Dawnelle | December 10, 2012, 2:33 pm

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