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French Fries/Chips
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:17 pm    Post subject: French Fries/Chips Reply with quote

Okay, presuming everyone here subscribes to the belief that there is no such thing as a dumb question---I ask---what are your secrets when it comes to deep frying the perfect french fry/chip from fresh potatoes?
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David, this is advice from Cook's Illustrated to solve the problem of mediocre French fries.


The Solution: The russet Burbank baking potato, often called the "Idaho," turned out to be the best choice, frying up with all the qualities we required. Because these are starchy potatoes, it is important to rinse the starch off the surface after cutting the potato into fries. Then refrigerate the potatoes in a bowl of ice water for at least 30 minutes. When the potatoes first enter the hot oil, they are nearly frozen, which allows a slow, thorough cooking of the inner potato pulp. Double-frying the potatoes is also key. The first fry at a relatively low temperature secures a soft and rich-tasting interior; the quick second fry at a higher temperature crisps and colors the exterior.

I'm always reluctant to deep fry, 'cuz I hate to throw out all that oil!
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey David,

Here's a link from the San Francisco Chronicle on making french fires. We have tried this and we had the most amazing homemade fries EVER!

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2000/09/20/FD62914.DTL&type=food

It is a two step process and what worked for us was to do the first step the day before we wanted to eat them, put them in the freezer on cookie sheets (and then in zip-locks once frozen) and then the next day - or whenever, break out the peanut oil and go to town! My son became the fry chef chez nous! He was not content with my "oven fries". Laughing Laughing Laughing

Let us know how they turn out!
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should mention that Ben - the fry chef - NEVER peels the potatoes. He feels, and we agree, that you lose flavor (and nutrients, says his mother) by peeling. So that's the only way his method differs from the Chronicle recipe. Laughing
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Richard Leader



Joined: 22 Feb 2006
Posts: 77
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there are three things to mention:
1) the potato variety - as mentioned above
2) the temperature that the potato is fried at - first gently then given a final crisping at a higher temperature
3) the fat it's cooked in - for preference, beef dripping of goose fat...
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Donna, GP and Richard! The last time I tried deepfrying fresh potatoes I used Yukon Gold----a big mistake and now I understand why. Have purchased some Russets for the next batch. I'd heard that double frying was a good idea and this seems to be universal from your suggestions! Richard---I wish I was up to using animal fats for this as the best chips I ever had were made by my very English grandmother and I recall her using beef fat---but sadly I will bent to the modern era and go with vegetable fats.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay NEARLY successful! I just have to fine tune the first fry---I think I did it too long at too high a temp. But they were vastly superior to the last batch I did and certainly up to New York Fries standards. When time permits I will never use frozen again (but when it doesn't I shall be happy to fall back on good ol' McCains)

Thanks to all.
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bluedog



Joined: 03 Aug 2005
Posts: 135
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gingerpale - i do fries in my wok - gently tossing all the while, and there is a lot less oil wasted. i do shoe string style, so don't find the need for the double dip method. took some practice, but i think they are awesome. another key to to sprinkle w/ ground sea salt immediately after they come out, and the salt sticks better.
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bluedog, this interests me--I sure make French fries less often than I want French fries. By "shoestring", do you mean so thin that it's all crispy, no soft? Or have you hit upon the perfect size that produces crisp outside, soft inside, with just one frying?

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bluedog



Joined: 03 Aug 2005
Posts: 135
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gp - i cut them about 1/4 inch w/ skin on, and they seem crisp on the outside, and soft inside. i will admit that since i am sans recipe, i am also sans consistency. i suspect if i don't have the right oil temp things go either to crisp or too soggy. but most times just right!
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ducksauce



Joined: 16 Nov 2006
Posts: 22
Location: california

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:23 am    Post subject: fries Reply with quote

one thing to watchout for if u have them comming out over cooked or undercooked is that each batch is a bit differnt, i cook bout 75lbs of frites a week from scratch, with the peel,cut,wash,water blance,oil blance, fry to order strategy, and the final frying temperture and time varys from325-375 and from 3min-4min for us, i think alot depends on the quality of your oil and the water content of your fries/potatoes. Dont forget when your eating frites leave that katsup alone and bring on the aoili.
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Richard Leader



Joined: 22 Feb 2006
Posts: 77
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:12 am    Post subject: Re: fries Reply with quote

ducksauce wrote:
i cook bout 75lbs of frites a week from scratch.

Please tell me you work in a restaurant and this isn't for home consumption!!

Absolutely agree on the aioli thing!
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha ha! If it is for home consumption I'm going to beg to move in! Aioli on frites!-------------------what a wonderful idea.
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ducksauce



Joined: 16 Nov 2006
Posts: 22
Location: california

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 9:28 am    Post subject: frites Reply with quote

lol yea i work in a small french bistro in calinorina, frites from scratch blow all the differnt frozen fries ive tried from various companys, but are a lot of work.
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SarahsWorld67



Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 7:11 pm    Post subject: yum Reply with quote

Hello All-
I love making fries! The absolute best way I have found is to follow the directions Julia Child gives in her old French Chef "French Fries" episode. (It is on the French Chef DVD). Oh, she is a hoot to watch! She uses the two frying method also. She also shows how to make potato basket-nests and puffed deep-fried potatoes.

Do not faint, but LARD makes an awesome tasting shallow-fried potato. I have not used it to deep-fry.

Also, I feel It is important to salt them (and eat them) when they are still hot.

Sarah
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