French fries are my favorite food on earth. Fat or skinny, fast food or fancified with truffle oil, sweet potato or russets...I love them all. The only thing I am strict about: I want them fresh and hot. Yes, I've been known to send my french fries back at McDonalds and wait for the 'next batch'. If I'm going to splurge, I want it right. And I love to cook so I should be able to make my favorite, right? Well, despite numerous attempts, I ALWAYS fail. My mom, who taught me how to cook, insists it is soooo easy but whenever I follow her method (and every other recipe I can find) I end up with pale, limp, very sad fries. I optimistically invited friends over for 'fish and chips' and ended up serving fish and fried potato mush (with delicious tartar sauce). So you can imagine my excitement that I have figured out the perfect, fool-proof french fry recipe. You have to fry it two stages...thanks Chefsky!!!!
1. Clean and peel russet potatoes...3 for 4 people
2. Cut into your desired shape and size and soak in ice water for around 30 minutes
2. Dry thoroughly with paper towels
3. Get your vegetable oil up to 300' and throw in your fries. As soon as they float remove with a slotted spoon. They will will still be very pale.
4. At this point you can put them on a tray and back into the fridge covered for several hours until guests arrive and you are ready to eat.
5. For serving, bring your oil up to 325-350' and throw in your pre-blanched fries. Remove from oil as they turn golden brown. Throw them into a brown paper bag and toss with salt and you have perfect french fries!
Plain or jazzed up, you cannot beat Heinz...
Serve with hamburgers, steaks, roast chicken or all alone with glasses of champagne. On Oprah last week, Michael Pollin (author of Omnivore's Dilemma and Food Rules) said we can enjoy french fries (and all other 'junk food') as long as we make them at home. His theory: if you have to do all of the work yourself, you won't indulge more than once or twice a month. But with this new sure fire technique, I'm thinking weekly...