French fries come in the frozen section of the grocery store right? You put them in the oven and bake them, .. at least that has been the case for me, if I even make them at all. In an attempt to find something really cheap to make so I can blog about it, I tried the recipe that is in America’s Test Kitchen TV Cookbook (2001-2010) LINK. They recently showed on their program a method of frying french fries that starts with the potatoes in cold peanut oil. I was skeptical, that they fries would become really soggy. I have to say it was not a perfect first attempt, but they were yummy in the end. It took longer for my fries to get crisp than they said it would, and I had some stick to the bottom that did not want to budge, but it’s okay — they stayed at the bottom when I went to scoop them out with my spider and did not affect that lot. I did have to cook them longer than the recipe said, but they were good in the end.. so be patient if they don’t seem crisp to you. I drained the fries on a baking pan lined with paper towels, sprinkled the hot fries with salt for the family and garlic powder with some parsley for hubby and I because we LOVE garlic!
The recipe works this way: you use Yukon Gold Potatoes — mine were on the small side, so they were not very long, but they were good: crisp on the outside and soft and velvety in the inside. The recipe in the cookbook calls for 1/4 cup strained bacon fat in the oil to give it extra flavor, but I didn’t use any because for once I didn’t have any on hand! Shocker, I know! Cut the edges of the potato to give it a flat side on all four sides (and extra balance when you slice them) and slice them first in 1/4 slices and then 1/4 inch sticks.
Easier French Fries
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
- 2 1/2 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes (about 6 medium), scrubbed, dried, sides squared off and cut lengthwise in 1/4″ slices and then 1/4 inch sticks
- 6 cubs peanut oil
- Garlic powder, optional
Place the sliced potato batons and the peanut oil in a heavy duty dutch oven (I like to use my 6 1/2 quart Le Creuset- an enameled cast iron skillet).
Bring the oil and french fries to a full boil over high heat. Once the oil is boiling set the timer for 15 minutes. Do NOT disturb the fries those 15 minutes- keep the temperature at high during the boiling, but do monitor to make sure it does not spill out!
After 15 minutes use a long pair of tongs to gently stir the bottom of the pot to loosen any that get stuck to the bottom (I still had a few that did not want to un-stick, but it turned out okay)
Continue cooking over high heat for 10 minutes or longer, stirring occasionally with tongs, until they are golden brown and crisp. Remove them with a slotted spoon or a spider if you have one (a metal net like looking thing). Drain the french fries on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Immediately, sprinkle with salt and garlic powder if desired. Serve with Ketchup or a dipping sauce.