If you can heat oil in a pan, you can make your own crispy, golden brown, delicious fries in just a few minutes! All you need is some simple kitchen tools, a couple of potatoes, some cooking oil, and a sharp knife.
Here are the things you’ll need: a big skillet or a wok, a kitchen thermometer, cooking oil (peanut oil is the most sustainable), a sharp knife or mandolin, a couple of potatoes, a slotted spoon or a strainer, and some paper towels.
Heat the Oil
Add oil to either a big skillet or a wok until it’s about an inch and a half deep. More than that and it’ll take forever to heat. Less than that and the French fries may touch the bottom and burn.
Turn on the heat. Secret: heat the oil up to 365 degrees – this is one of the keys to great fries. If the oil is too cool, the fries will soak it up and quickly turn disgusting. If the oil is too hot, the fries will cook right up on the outside, but be raw inside. Ick.
So, watch the thermometer.
Prepare the Potatoes
While the oil heats, wash and then slice the potatoes up into 1/4″ (6mm) strips. You can leave the skins on – they add a robust potato taste. You can use a sharp knife, or, a mandolin, if you have one.
Secret: Once they’re sliced, rinse them in a bowl of clear water. The water washes out the starch, so the fries won’t stick to each other when they cook.
Let the potatoes drain on some paper towels for a moment.
Fry Them Up
Once the oil is heated up to 365 degrees, use the slotted spoon or strainer to lower the potatoes into the wok or skillet. Careful! They’ll spatter. The oil will hiss and spit and bubble, and you’ll see a huge white mass of bubbles form on top. That means all is good.
Don’t crowd the fries. Give them room to swim. If they’re too crowded, some will cook, but others won’t, and you don’t want that.
Stir them around every thirty seconds or so, just to help the oil circulate and bathe all of the fries evenly.
The fries will change color, from the pale raw white to a very pleasant desert tan.
Prepare to Receive
While they’re cooking, prepare a receiving plate by covering it with some paper towels. This is where you’ll put the fries when you first fish them out of the pan.
Fish Them Out
They will turn a golden brown, with darker corners. That’s when they’re done.
Use your strainer or a slotted spoon to shovel them onto the receiving plate. It might help to hold the plate next to the pan. Try to let as much oil as possible drain back into the pan before you put the fries on the plate.
Spread the fries out on the paper towel so that the oil can drain away.
Now you can salt them.
Now you can eat them.
Watch out! They are super hot! But, wow, are they good!
Reheat the Oil
Secret: the oil will have cooled down when you removed the fries. Check it with the thermometer, and let it reheat to 365 degrees.
While it reheats, you can rinse off the next batch of fries, and transfer the finished fries to a serving plate (if you haven’t already eaten them all!).
When you’ve fished the last batch of fries out of the oil, turn off the heat. Let the oil sit until it is cool.
If you strain the oil, you can store it and use it again – no need to throw it out! Use it again to make more fries, or your own microwave popcorn!
That’s it! An easy, inexpensive and healthy way to enjoy pomme frites in your own kitchen!
Please note: do not do this procedure if you are not certain that you can complete it safely, or if it doesn’t seem accurate. Skippity Whistles provides this information as advice, and cannot accept any liability for your usage of it.
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