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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Perfect French Fries

The perfect French Fry?  Why yes, even the humble fry can gain lofty status....when prepared correctly with some care. Anyone can slice a potato and throw the pieces in some oil to fry until they're cooked and browned.  Double frying is the key to perfectly golden fires with a crunchy exterior and creamy interior.

We were having cheeseburgers for dinner last night.  Very standard.  Ground chuck, melted American cheese, shredded lettuce, dill pickle relish, tomato, sliced purple onion, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper.  We both wanted really good french fries to go with our basic cheeseburgers.

Perfect Fries.

There are two trains of thought.  To soak the sliced potatoes or not? I don't soak.  Too messy and time consuming.  Peeling is optional.  I don't peel.

After slicing one large russet potato into uniform slices, I set the deep fryer on a low temperature of 275 to fry-blanche the fries for 7 minutes. the lower temperature cooked the potatoes through without browning them.  I fried  them in several batches, draining them on paper towels until they were all cooked.

After turning the fryer up to a temperature of 350, I re-fried the potatoes until golden and crispy.  I like a snappy crunchy french fry, so I cooked mine a bit longer the second time than traditionally recommended.  After coming out of the hot oil, I salted them generously.  To take them up one more notch, I showered them with Grippo's BAR-B-Q Seasoning.  Uh huh. My favorite barbecued potato chips morphed into  french fries.  Go figure.

The result was  golden crisp french fries with  soft creamy interiors that tasted like Grippo's Barbecued Potato Chips.( seasoning, optional) Perfect.

It's not rocket science.  It's not even hard.  But, the extra effort and care is worth it.  If no deep fryer is available, use a heavy dutch oven and a thermometer to gage the heat of the oil. Double frying with different tempertatures is key.  Low and slow before fast and furious. 

That's the ticket to perfect fries.

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