It's National Fresh-Cut French Fry Day!
From Tom Fitzmorris @ www.nomenu.com
He has some good tips here.
It's National Fresh-Cut French Fry Day.
Perhaps the most convincing proof that popularity has a way of settling on mediocrity is that over 99 percent of all French fries served in America--in homes as well as restaurants--start as frozen, pre-cut potatoes.
It's understandable. Preparing fresh-cut fried potatoes is not easy. We have learned this in our own kitchen, where our kids clamor for fries whenever they detect a weakness in our hesitancy. For a long time, we blanched the fries in boiling water for a couple of minutes, set them aside to dry, then fried them in rather hot oil. We kept coming up with greasy, limp fries unless we took them out when they'd just begun to brown, let them cool, then drop them into even hotter oil for a few seconds.
One day we tried lowering the temperature of the oil. I started at 325 degrees, with a fistful of fries that had not been blanched, but were just sitting in cold water since they'd been cut. (You must do this, or the starches start turning brown.) The fries took a long time to brown, but ultimately they were absolutely perfect: crisp, not greasy or soggy, soft on the inside. I kept going with the oil at that temperature, disregarding the fact that whenever I added a new batch of potatoes the oil temperature dropped by quite a bit. But then it recovered before the potatoes were even close to being cooked, and that gave the fries a good long frying. I suspect that the effect is the same as frying twice, but in one long step instead of two short ones. I also learned that one must limit the number of fries in the pot at one time to a little less than you might be inclined to put in there.
One other thing: when you buy the big, white, russet potatoes for this, scratch the skin with your fingernail. If you see any hint of green, put that potato down and find some that go from brown right to white under the skin. As for the oil, I generally use canola oil, but corn oil worked perfectly on one batch.