My wife loves French fries (OK we all do) but we rarely eat them. When we do, they’re usually homemade. Ever had soggy fries from a burger joint that makes their own? Yeah, they can be pretty worthless if done improperly. Making fries at home isn’t hard but it can be a bit time consuming and you will need special equipment, a thermometer and a mandoline. I made these for my wife’s Mother’s Day dinner. She wanted Burgers on the grill and hand cut fries along with a bottle of Red Zinfandel. If you haven’t made hand cut fries before, you really should give it a try. Ready? Let’s get to work:
I used a mandoline to cut the potatoes into long, thin strips, otherwise known as Julienne
The mandoline demands respect, if not, it'll take the tips of your fingers off in a hurry. Keep your fingers up and away from the blade. Half of a large potato will make enough fries for one person. Cut into julienne, place in a bowl of warm water and let them sit in the water for about ten minutes. This will pull starch from the outside of the potato and enhance the crispiness. Remove from the water, then place in a collander and allow to drain.
Julienne potatoes, Russett Burbanks are the favored potato for fries
The potatoes need to be cooked twice, once in a batch of low temperature oil (250) for six minutes. Do NOT crowd the potatoes into the oil, just do a handful at a time, too many and the oil's temperature will drop
Make sure you use a heavy duty steel pot for this, you'll need a lot of oil and you don't want to crowd oil into a pot. I prefer a pretty big pot, two gallon size, that way I only need to put a quart of oil in, and I have tall sides for splatter protection plus a big pot holds the heat better
After six minutes pull the potatoes out, lay on a sheet pan, don't pile them up or they'll stick to one another. Blanch all of the fries in this manner, this can be done a ways in advance, you could even do this, freeze the potatoes then finish when ready. Notice the color, pale and white and they will be soggy.
Now heat the oil up to 350 degrees. Take a handful of fries and carefully place them in the oil.
After about one minute, presto, crispy French Fries. Toss them into a big bowl lined with paper towels, toss with salt, pepper and truffle oil, like I did 😉
Burgers on the grill, pickled jalapenos, a jar of Amy's homemade ketchup (that recipe is for another day)
And a few slices of Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, how's that for a Mother's Day dinner?