And now Fried Week comes to a close, but don’t worry there’s plenty more unResolution Month. However, we’re not leaving Fried Week without a bang. Tonight it’s time for
Perfect French Fries
French fries at home that are great? Is it possible? A few months ago, I would have said no. Quite simply, I have never had French fries made at home that could possibly compare to the delicious golden fried potatoes I can get at finer restaurants (including McDonald’s when I used to eat there.)
Oh, I had a number of excuses for why my frier could never produce a fry that rivaled anything I could get at a restaurant ranging from the fact that McDonald’s fries are more preservative than potato, cheap frying equipment, bad potato crop, bad luck. But I was in denial (well, except for the McDonald’s part…really, potato is like the sixth ingredient on the list.)
Then I read a life changing book: The Man Who Ate Everything by the amazing (and grumpy) Jeffrey Steingarten. In his book, a monument to obsessive/compulsive explorations of all things culinary, he devotes an essay to his quest for perfect fries. From him I learned the secret to perfect French fries at home.
Making Perfect French Fries
And that secret was horse fat.
Well, kind of. He actually devoted a little time to the fact that tallow (beef or horse fat) were the single most powerful flavoring component in French fries. However, tallow is good at making people’s heart explode and as such has gone out of favor to be replaced by vegetable oil.
In all seriousness, though, he did reveal a secret: fry your fries twice. That’s right, let them take a hot oil bath. Then take them out of the oil. Then fry them again. That’s all it takes!
You will need:
- 1 pound of potatoes, peeled and cut into fry shape
- Oil for frying (peanut if no one has any peanut allergies, vegetable otherwise)
Yep, that’s all.
After you have peeled and sliced the potatoes, put them in a tub of water so that they are completely submerged. Let them sit for an hour to remove the starch. Remove from the water and pat dry.
Bring the oil to 350 degrees or medium-high heat.
Fry the French fries in small batches for five minutes each.
Raise the heat to 375 then return the fries to the oil and fry until golden brown.
Put on a cooling rack or on paper towels and immediately sprinkle with salt.
Serve with ketchup, ranch or eat alone and enjoy!