August 20, 2009
French fries are a favorite, not sure I ever met some that didn't like them. They are a little tricky to make but once you know a couple of tricks they will come out perfect every time. First off you need a good potato, one usually called a baking potato is good, they are usually old potatoes. I found Russet to be the best and the ones you buy individually rather than in the bag are typically older, I guess the expense makes them sell slower. I look for the oldest bag I can find in the bunch and then bring it home anthrow it in the corner for a couple of months, good for all kinds of things not just French Fries. Once you have a nice old russet you have to determine how you like them sliced, I like them thin but not shoe string, they crisp up nice but still have a soft potato inside. I am going to give the recipe for one medium size potato and you can just adjust as necessary for a larger batch. At this point if you just throw them in hot oil, the outside will burn before the inside cooks, the trick is to microwave them, for my one potato it is 1 minute and 30 seconds does the trick, a thin coat of vegetable oil keep them from sticking together but it will brown better if you don't use the oil, not sure why, if you don't use the oil it only takes a few seconds to separate the pieces.
I have been making these for a lot of years starting some time in the 1950's when they used papper bags at the market and every kid went off with a sandwich bag for lunch. In those days when we fried things we would open up a big bag from the market and set the product to be drained. For French Fries we would use a sandwich bag, salt them and shake a few minutes the bag would be dripping with grease and the fries were well seasoned. You can still get sandwich bags, I just don't think to pick them up, if you have some that is the best way to do them.
You can use oil over and over and if you use the oil for other things it is good to make French Fries once in a while to help purify the oil. Once you think your oil is spent, retain about 1/4 of it for the new batch, gives you a start because oil is best when aged by a few uses.
preheat oil to 375 F use 4 t0 5 cups of vegetable, canola or peanut oil, more if you pot is bigger
Slice one medium size Russet potato, as you like them
Lightly coat with vegetable oil and microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds
Carefully drop into hot oil and make sure the handle of pot is away from you.
Use utensil to ensure the potatoes are separated and fry until golden brown
Turn out on to paper towel to drain
A light coating of Sea Salt or if your really risque some Cayanne pepper.