Hand cut fries are something you can make at home. Seriously.
Want to know why making them at home is not only possible, but better than out?
1. If your like me and live 25 minutes from the nearest restaurant, well, it just makes sense to know how to make them. And if your a city/town dweller, well, what’s the harm in knowing how?
2. You can choose to go organic, plus your oil will be super fresh (unlike most restaurant deep fryers which cook up all sorts of foods, sometimes for days, with the same oil…).
3. They will cost you a fraction of the cost of going out.
4. They will be made with love.
…revel in the simplicity of homemade hand-cut fries…you’ll wonder why you don’t make them more often…
Here’s what you’ll need;
Russet potatoes (I actually used yukon golds and they worked just fine and were delicious!) – quantity depends on how many you’d like to make. I used about 12 smallish potatoes – russets are larger, so less would be needed.
My suggestion, cut up 3 russets and see how much you end up with – if you need more, cut up another, if its enough, perfect. If it’s too much, store cut potatoes, covered with water, in the fridge for up to two days. Who says you can’t have fries (homemade) twice in one week?
Coarse salt or sea salt
High heat oil – I use sunflower oil. Peanut oil works well too.
A pot for frying. I use my wok or cast iron frying pan. Any heavy bottomed or deep heavy bottomed pot will do.
You’ll also need a slotted spoon, some brown paper (think paper bags), a tea towel (or two), a candy/frying thermometer (if you don’t have one, don’t fret), and (if making a few batches) a cooling rack (with baking sheet placed underneath) to store cooked fries on while keeping warm in the oven…
Here’s what you’ll need to do;
Fill a large glass or ceramic bowl, half-way, with cold water.
Slice potatoes into the thickness and length you like – here’s yet another added bonus – you choose how thick or thin to make them!
As your chopping away, place the cut pieces into water, in bowl. This helps release their starch as well as prevent browning. Add more water as necessary…
Once all potatoes have been cut and covered with water, pour cut potatoes into a colander and drain cloudy water. Refill bowl with fresh cold water. Add potatoes again. Continue this until water is no longer cloudy. Two or three times should do…
Drain water again, though now, place cut potatoes onto a tea towel and thoroughly dry. Remember, water and oil do not mix. So, if you need to use a second tea towel to ensure their super dryness, do so.
While your drying the potatoes, get the oil heating up. You’ll want to use enough oil to cover the potatoes, yet not so much that the oil would bubble over once heated up with potatoes in…trouble for sure…
*be sure to leave enough space at the top of the pot for the bubbling hot oil and the potatoes – do not overfill your pot.
If you have a candy or frying thermometer, great, use it. The oil should be between 350 degrees F and 375 degrees F. If you don’t have such equipment – don’t fret. If you drop a 1″ cube of white bread into the oil and it browns in 60 seconds or less, your up to temperature. You can also try tossing a cut potato slice into the oil, if it starts to sizzle, a lot, well, it’s probably up to temperature… if it doesn’t, let it heat up some more…
The key is to not overcrowd the pan.
Too many and the oil will cool and the fries will absorb too much oil and become soggy. Too few and they fry up super fast – almost to the point of burning…so best to cook in smaller batches, leaving enough room around each piece to allow for proper cooking.
Once potatoes have been added to the hot oil, increase heat, slightly, to compensate for the heat absorption from the fries…Keep an eye on them as they cook. Stirring occasionally and regulating the heat as necessary.
Once the fries look nice and browned, remove with slotted spoon and place on paper bags/paper. Salt generously.
Turn heat slightly down while removing. Once all fries have been removed, increase heat again to bring back up to temperature and repeat the process all over again…
I place the salted and cooked fries onto my cooling rack (seems to prevent them from getting soggy) which is also placed over a cookie tray (to catch the ones which fall through the ‘cracks’) and then tuck them into the warmed oven (200 degree F) until all fries have been cooked or all food is ready to be served…
This recipe can also be used with sweet potatoes – sweet potato fries – YUM!
What do you like your fries with?
I like mine with fried fish – fish ‘n chips – dipped in organic ketchup and malt vinegar. Super deliciousness – at home…