Sunday, January 11, 2009

Gourmet French Fries

Another one from [POTATO-RECIPE], by way of Marla in Las Vegas, the Happy Cooker and Allkindsoffood:

The gourmet's trick to French fries that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside is double-frying them.

6 large potatoes (Idaho or Russet is a good choice)
Oil for deep frying (Vegetable or Peanut)
Ice water (optional)

Cut the potatoes into fries about 3/8" thick. (Thin fries soak up too much oil.) You can peel the potatoes, if you like, but it's not necessary.

Optional: Soak the cut fries in ice water for about 30 minutes. This step removes a lot of the starch, making them less sticky when frying. Pat the soaked fries dry with a paper towel before frying.

In a frying pan or deep fryer, heat the oil to 325°. Fry small batches of the fries for about 3 minutes; they will be softened but not browned. Remove them from the oil and let them rest, or sweat, on paper towels for at least half an hour, up to 2 hours. (A great make-ahead step.)

When you're ready, reheat the oil to 375°. Cook the fries a second time until golden brown, 4-6 minutes. Drain again on paper towels, transfer to a serving dish, and season with one of the gourmet seasoning recipes below while they are still warm and moist.

You're half way there! Seasonings are the second half of gourmet french fry recipes:

Lemon-Parsley Fries: Combine 1 heaping tablespoon each of lemon zest and chopped parsley in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture over warm french fries. Salt and pepper to taste.

Red Pepper Fries: Simmer 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper in 1/4 cup olive oil for about 5 minutes. Set aside until ready to use. When the fries are done, remove the crushed red pepper from the oil (unless you're very daring) and drizzle the oil over the french fries. Salt to taste and toss. Option: Add 1 tablespoon minced garlic and 1 teaspoon basil to the oil and simmer with the red pepper.

Truffle Fries: Drizzle 1 tablespoon warmed white truffle oil over fries. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste, and toss.

Garlic Fries Recipe: Lightly sauté 1/2 cup minced garlic in 1/4 cup olive oil . Stir in 1 tablespoon thyme. Drizzle the garlic mixture over warm french fries and toss. Salt and pepper to taste. Option: Sprinkle 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese over the fries and toss again. Delicious.


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