Monday, June 8, 2015

Double Cooked Classic French Fries

I have a serious French Fry addiction. I absolutely love the things - I really really love them. But in my defense, I only love good ones, I am not about to waste my time and (bad health choices) eating ones that aren't really good.

I really do believe in making food choices based on balance. Eat the very best food you can - as often as you can. Save those "bad choice" moments for when it is going to be really good and when you can really enjoy it. With that said, you won't find me sitting in my car chowing down drive-thru semi-cold fries. If I am going to eat French Fries, by golly!, they are going to be really really good ones - and I am going to enjoy it.

And I think that is strange way of thinking helps to teach my kids that you don't have to live like a food monk and have things that you never eat when you are tying to make good food choices, but that things like ice cream and french fries and red licorice have a time and a small place in our lives. (and in the case of french fries - that place is not as the vegetable at the meal twice a day with a toy)

4 (4 to 5-inches long) russet potatoes (about 2 pounds) *The bigger the potato - the longer you can get the french fries*
2 quarts canola oil
1 tablespoons salt

Peel potatoes on the sides, leaving the ends with the skin on. Cut the potatoes into 1/3-inch slices and then slice into 1/3-inch sticks. Try as hard as you can to get a uniform slice - if you have a mandolin they were made for occasions such as this - you can even buy a device just for cutting fries - but that seems kinda excessive, right?

Fill a large bowl with water and soak potatoes, submerged, for at least 30 minutes up to 24 hours. This will help remove the excess starch from the potatoes and keep them from oxidizing.

Heat a heavy stock pot fitted with a deep-fry thermometer with oil to 325 degrees F.

Remove potatoes from the water, and pat dry to remove excess water. (Super Important! Oil and Water - Don't Mix!)  Add 2 handfuls of potatoes to hot oil. There should be at least 1-inch of oil above the potatoes. Par cook until potatoes are light brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove potatoes, gently shaking off excess oil and let drain on rack. Repeat until all of the potatoes are par cooked.

Raise heat of oil to 350 degrees F.

Cook potatoes again, 2 handfuls at a time, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from oil, shake off excess oil, and season lightly in a bowl with salt and pepper. Repeat until all potatoes are cooked.

I'll make these on a night when no one is feeling very excited about the leftovers in the fridge. They are quite a bit of work for a side veggie (loosely using the term veggie). But I think that this also helps my family to know that these are more of a "treat" than something we should be consuming regularly.  They're kinda fun - and if you start making them at home - nobody in your family is going to want to eat take out fries again anyway.