Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Perfect French Fry

This is a Top Chef recipe - restaurant quality french fries! It does take a bit of extra work but you won't believe how crispy they come out. You don't even need a deep fryer!

Russet Potatoes
Vegetable Oil

Begin by peeling potatoes (if you want, the skins have flavor/nutrients!) and slicing to desired thickness. Then rinse the sliced fries in water to wash off excess starch.

Heat a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Add about 3 tablespoons of salt. Blanch the potatoes in the boiling water and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from water and strain, then lay out in a flat layer and place in the freezer to cool and firm. If you have the freezer space you can do this on a cookie sheet - I don't, so I used paper plates and piled the plates on one another, which also worked just fine.

Have a Dutch oven filled 2/3rd of the way up with oil heated to 350-360 degrees. If you do not have an oil thermometer, I would just recommend heating the oil on high for about 10 minutes before using it to fry. Fry in batches so as to not overcrowd the pot and fry potatoes for just 2-3 minutes. The first time frying is to help develop a super crispy exterior. The fries will not be brown yet, but don't worry about that. Place back in the freezer to cool again. (At this point, you can stop and keep the fries in the freezer for later. If so, simply store in an airtight bag once frozen.)

Now the final step! Once the fries are firm (about 10-20 minutes) remove from the freezer and fry in the oil 4-5 minutes, until golden brown and super crispy. When done, remove with a wire strainer (or tongs) to a paper towel lined plate and season with salt immediately.

Tips: Use oil with a high smoking point, like canola oil, vegetable oil or peanut oil. Cut your potatoes to the same size, so they cook evenly, and make sure the potatoes are dry before putting them in the pan.

This is how restaurants do it. The best thing about it is that you can make these up to the last step, store them, and then enjoy the perfect french fry whenever you want!

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