Monday, April 2, 2012

French Fries

Last night, as dinner crept closer and closer with no food inspiration coming magically to me, the Husband announced that he wanted French fries. He didn't need anything else, he claimed. Just fries. I looked at him like he was nuts as he pulled out the bag of potatoes, a strainer, and almost all the pots and pans we own from the cupboards.

We don't own a deep fryer. And yet, he was going to endeavour to make French fries. From scratch. In a pot. Of oil.

I said goodbye to all of my canola oil and settled down at the breakfast bar with Catching Fire (book 2 of the Hunger Games Trilogy) to watch him work. He had this one all under control.

An hour later, much to our mutual shock, we had one pot of French fries. Crispy, delicious French fries.

Granted, they were nothing particularly special. Some of them had gotten chopped a little too small or broke in the cooking process. They were bent and not entirely pretty. But oh, oh. They were tasty. Just as good as any fries we order with our burgers when we go out. Better perhaps, because of their absolute freshness.

I sprinkled mine with a decent dusting of Cajun seasoning after the Husband's sprinkle of salt and devoured each one with a little tip of ketchup. Would we make these again? I doubt it. The Husband wants to try baked fries next which I have far more experience with. But these? They're maybe a little more work than they're worth.

How did we do it?

Like this:

French Fries

5 or 6 large potatoes
4 cups vegetable or canola oil

Chop your potatoes into fries. While you're chopping, heat the oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven. The oil is hot enough when you drop a fry in and it immediately begins to sizzle.

Working in batches, add a handful or two of the fries to the oil. Cook for 5 minutes. They won't be golden and crispy yet. Remove from the heat and strain using a strainer placed in a second large pot or dutch oven in order to reserve the oil. Move the fries to a third pot or bowl.

(If you have enough oil, you can skip the straining step by putting the strainer directly into the cooking pot and simply lifting it out when the 5 minutes is up. We didn't have enough oil for this.)

Return the oil to the stove and reheat. Do your next batch in the same way you did the first, adding them to bowl of half cooked fries. Repeat until all your fries have been cooked once.

Return the oil to the stove and add about half the fries. You want them to remain completely covered by the oil, but you can cook a larger batch this time. Cook until your fries are golden brown. Strain well and spread the fries on a baking sheet lined with paper towel to drain the grease.

Dust with seasonings, parmesan cheese, perhaps, or whatever else you'd like to make them a little more special. As I mentioned, I sprinkled these with some cajun and ate them with copious amounts of ketchup.

Perhaps I'll try onion rings next...

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