"Would you like Fries with that?" Yes Please!

By Kathleen Guagliano (Katg) on September 4, 2010

Everybody Loves a Good French Fry now and then. With a few variations, this simple and comforting food can be exalted to higher levels. Here's a great "double fry" method that is sure to please!

E v e r y b o d y   L o v e s   a   G o o d   F r e n c h   F r y !

The potato is such a staple food today, it's hard to believe that it has only been accepted as edible by most of the Western world for the past 200 years. How it made it's way into a those little MacDonald's bags from the South American highlands is mind boggling! But, whether you know them as French Fries, French Fried Potatoes, Chips, Pommes Frites, or Frieten, etc., this dish is a favorite with many cultures of the world.

The origin of this popular food is muddled, but it has been said that these tasty fried strips of potatoes originated in Spain, which was the first European country in which potatoes appeared from the New World Colonies. Around 1680, it then spread to the Spanish Netherlands which later became Belgium. The story goes that the inhabitants of this area were accustomed to frying small fish to accompany their meals. When the river would freeze they would try to emulate their fish by cutting strips of potatoes and frying them. Known previously as “Belgian Fries”, one theory of the name change is attributed to American Soldiers arriving during World War 1, eating them, and then equating them to the official language spoken in the area which was French. Others attribute the dish to France and offer evidence that in a manuscript in Thomas Jefferson's own hand (1801) that the recipe came from his French Chef. So who really knows? In today’s times though, The largest consumer of French Fries is the USA but the largest consumer per person is Belgium.

V a r i a t i o n s

French Fries have sure come a long way. They can be found, shoestring, thick-cut, crinkled, made curly, wedged, waffled, even battered and breaded! They are fried in various oils such as beef tallow and vegetable and some are even seasoned with a wide array of spices including garlic powder and hot sauce. The English popularized them with “Fish and Chips” and French Canadians serve their famous “Poutine”- Fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds. The variations are endless!


M y    P e r f e c t   F r e n c h   F r y


4 Large Russet Potatoes

1 Quart of Peanut Oil

Coarse Salt

I’ve tried a lot of various ways to make the Perfect French Fry – and I think this is about as good as it gets with me. It’s a little more work than just cutting up some potatoes and throwing them into some fat, but the results are so worth it. With a few variations, this makes a French Fry nice and crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Start out with some good potatoes. I find the best potato to use for French Fries is Russet. If you can’t find them, then a good quality baking potato will do fine. Waxier varieties or new potatoes just have too much water content for this method.

I also use Peanut oil to fry - It has a high smoking point and very little flavor so it won't overpower the goodness of the potatoes.

Wash, peel and cut the potatoes into strips.  The potato strips should be approximately the same thickness, as otherwise the thick strips will be undercooked when the thin strips are already overcooked. (These are not perfect by any means!)

Put the fries in a large container of cold water - keep rinsing them until the water becomes clear to remove the excess starch. Add some ice and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24. Great when you're preparing things in advance.

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed medium stockpot or Wok over medium heat, or in a tabletop deep fryer, to 325° F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside. Remove the potatoes from the water and pat dry with paper towels or a clean tea towel. Make sure your oil is at 325 and add the fries a handful at a time. Fry, turning occasionally until the potatoes are soft and have began to turn a blond color (about 6 minutes). 

 Using a skimmer or a slotted spoon, carefully remove fries from the oil and set aside to drain on paper towels. Pat as much grease out of them as you can and remove and discard the paper towels and spread the potatoes flat on the sheet. Let rest for at least 15 minutes or up to 3 hours.

Since cooked potatoes absorb oil easier than uncooked, the temperature of the second cooking needs to be higher than the first cooking in order to avoid too much oil being absorbed. When you're ready to cook the potatoes, increase the heat of the oil to 375° F. Fry the potatoes again, carefully dropping them into the oil for about another 4 minutes until they're golden. Remove with the skimmer and drain on clean paper towels. Season immediately with salt and serve hot.

This really is a great method if you're serving other foods and want to make sure that these are good and hot. When I make fish and chips, I usually fry my fish and onion rings first, place them into a 250 oven to keep warm and just finish off the fries at the last minute! So good!

For this wonderful and fail proof fish batter recipe Click here

Try some Poutine!

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Comments and discussion:
Subject Thread Starter Last Reply Replies
my hubby does this Maridell Sep 28, 2010 3:41 PM 14
Neil's Answe to your question. Ridesredmule Sep 12, 2010 2:08 PM 3
Yummy!! Ridesredmule Sep 9, 2010 6:46 AM 13
Sweet potato fries tomatofreak Sep 9, 2010 12:12 AM 1
Not Quite Right! NEILMUIR1 Sep 7, 2010 2:45 AM 11
Yes, Yes, Yes!! threegardeners Sep 6, 2010 9:15 AM 3
Well, Kat... Sharon Sep 4, 2010 8:51 AM 12

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