Thursday, February 9, 2012

Steak Frites Part Trois: the fries

Here's Part Trois (3), how I made the fries:

Ingredients
large Idaho potatoes (1 per person)
3 cups canola oil
salt

I gave the potatoes a good scrub, peeled them, and then cut them into small fries. I like smaller fries because they crisp up faster.
As I was cutting up the fries, I'd toss them in a bowl filled with cold water. The cold water serves two purposes: prevents oxidation so the potatoes don't turn ugly and brown and it also rinses off the starch. Once I finished cutting up all of the potatoes, I let them soak for 5 minutes and then rinsed them in more cold water and then drained them in a colander.

Then I patted them dry on a kitchen towel. You can use paper towels but a kitchen towel is more absorbent so you won't need to use multiple. The potatoes shouldn't have any moisture on the outside of them. If they do, you're in for a world of hurt once any water droplets hit the hot oil.
Meanwhile, I got the oil heating in a bit pot - I use a pot that's deep enough that if there is any splatter, it's likely to be contained. And I got a cookie sheet ready to take the finished fries by lining the bottom with newspaper and then topping it with paper towel. Paper towel alone wouldn't be enough to help wick away all of the grease from the fries.
Using a kitchen thermometer, I checked the oil temperature. Once it reached 300 degrees, I started to fry the potatoes in small batches that I could easily handle. Overwhelming the oil will cause the temperature to drop too much and the fries will be greasy.
Once the fries were cooked through (about 2 minutes), I fished them out and let them drain on my paper towel and newspaper lined cookie sheet. After I finished all of the potato, I cranked up the heat and let the oil come to 400 degrees. Then I did the same thing, fried the potatoes in batches until they were golden and crispy and salted immediately after draining on the paper towels. Keep the fries in a warm oven (250 degrees) to keep them crisp and toasty before serving. Make sure to keep them in one layer so they don't get soggy.
Stay tuned for the conclusion, Steak Frites Part Quatre: the steak

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