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French fries (slightly OT)

DavidHallDavidHall Posts: 19
edited 2:52AM in EggHead Forum
In a post earlier today, I mentioned that we had homemade French fries with our steak last night. I thought I would share with you our method for making fries. It's not original; I first found it in Jeffrey Steingarten's _The Man Who Ate Everything_.[p]1. Cut up the potatoes about the size of McDonald's fries. You can peel the potatoes if you want, but it's not necessary.[p]2. Wash the fries in lots of cold water to remove the starch from the surface. Dry them thoroughly.[p]3. Put the fries in a deep, heavy pot, large enough so that the fries don't come up any more than, say, 4 inches from the top.[p]4. Pour in your favorite frying oil to just cover the fries (we use peanut oil) and turn the heat on HIGH. (Remember that fresh oil generally does not fry as well as oil that's been used once or twice before.) Pretty soon the oil will begin boiling. The only danger is splattering. We often use a splatter guard.[p]5. Carefully turn the potatoes once or twice as they cook, just to make sure they cook evenly.[p]6. They're done when...well, when they look done. It generally takes 15 minutes at our house. Your timing will depend on the amount of fries, the pot you use, and your heat source. Remove the fries from the oil with a strainer. We generally put the drained fries into a clean paper bag with some salt and chopped flat-leaf parsley, and shake for a few seconds. It seasons the fries and the bag absorbs any excess oil.[p]The first time we tried this method, we expected greasy, soggy fries. It just goes against everything I ever learned about deep frying. What a surprise! I honestly can't tell the difference between this method and the old-fashioned, labor-intensive two-fry method.[p]For the more adventurous and if calories and cholesterol are not an issue (do people like that exist?), you can fry the potatoes in duck or goose fat. For a couple of months, we were using half peanut oil and half goose fat. At first we were puzzled when our waist lines ballooned out. Then we remembered the goose fat. Rather than die of a heart attack and have to be buried in a piano case, we went back to just peanut oil. :-([p]Comments are welcome, of course.[p]Happy grilling, everyone!


  • DavidHall,
    Have you tried frying them in horse kidney suet?

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,387
    Frozen Chosen,
    Wow. And I thought I was pushing the envelope by grilling squid! I guess I haven't really lived yet. Tell me more. ???[p]Beers to you
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • ChuckChuck Posts: 812
    <p />DavidHall, Another way to get some good fries is to do them on your pizza stone. These are frozen steak fries. They come out very crispy without deep frying. I do them at 400* for about 7 min per side. Last night I did these and two flank steaks, one for dinner and one for fajitas tonight. (Its one way I justify two large eggs to my wife) Have a great night.[p]Chuck <><
  • PujPuj Posts: 615
    Chuck,[p]I'm with you on using the pizza stone for fries, hash browns, and other like eats. Have you tried doing a philly cheese steak on a stone? It's not bad, but you have to get the Egg very hot, e.g. 700°F or higher.[p]Puj
  • Nature Boy,
    read the book; its hilarious. Steigarten is a true gourmand who chased after THE french fry, winding up in some Alsatian cafe (as I recall) where they achieved FF vahalla by frying the pomme frites in fat surrounding horse kidneys. Mr. S. then describes his growing obsession with this process, hungrily eyeing horses towing carriages around Central Park. PHS had some restrictions on importing horse flesh and products, but he finally managed to smuggle some contraband fat into the country. I can only imagine S's horror at seeing frozen steak fries heated on a barbeque!

  • DavidHallDavidHall Posts: 19
    FrozenChosen,[p]Yes, the book is hilarious. I don't have the book handy, but as I recall, he went through several hundred pounds of potatoes trying different techniques and oil for perfecting his beloved pommes frites.[p]Thank you for reminding me of the horse suet. :-)
  • DavidHall,
    Wow that is really interesting.. I have never heard of that before. I always have fries with my ribs, I will do this next time. Thanks.[p]

  • MarvMarv Posts: 177
    DavidHall, Cool, I wonder if you could do a turkey that way?[p]Marv

  • DavidHallDavidHall Posts: 19
    Marv,[p]Hmmmmm, I doubt you could cook a turkey that way. :-)[p]Someone once suggested that reason this method works for French fries is that the potatoes are dense and don't readily absorb oil. If you were to try this with a turkey, I suspect, instead of a Butterball, you'd end up with a Greaseball Turkey (yuck...).[p]Just on a lark, we once tried this method with panisses, a sort of Provencal "French fry" made from chickpea batter. It was a disaster.
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