Friday, April 10, 2009

75. French Fries

Date Cooked: April, 5, 2009
Page: 195
Rating: A-

Ever since I made the Buffalo Wings I was seriously in the market for a deep fryer. But I needed to have a good one that was easy to use and even easier to clean up. Well Canadian Tire had a sale on the T-Fal EZ Clean model and my wife and I broke down and bought it. So of course we had to break it in immediately and what else should you make but French fries.

Well this recipe was simple in theory but lengthy in first time execution. I started with potatoes… of which we had none, so I started with a trip to the closest grocery store. Inevitably, whenever I want to quickly grab something from the grocery store, that is when my son wants to come along. Regular trips to the grocery store are met with negotiations about the conditions under which he will come (he’s 5 and doesn’t accept that simply being his parents is reason enough.) While the run through the grocery store was quick, check out was a nightmare. We went through the self-checkout and every time I tried to pay, my son would sit on the scale, or grab a bag from the scale and the computer would freak-out that I was adding or taking away items. It literally took 7-8 attempts to get my son to remain motionless long enough for me to cash out. He was excited for French fries.

At home with potatoes in had I set to work. The potatoes got driven through the French fry cutter that came with the deep-fryer. That is the last time that gadget will ever see the light of day when it comes to making French fries. Thank god it came free. I can’t go into details about because I will end up rambling nonsensical crap as my blood pressure rises. If you took your dullest butter knife and then tried to cut potatoes with its handle, that would approximate its cutting efficiency.

Once the potatoes had been transformed into fry shapes I rinsed them in water to remove the excess starch and then let them soak in ice water for 30 minutes. Once bath time was over they were thoroughly dried. As they were being dried I was heating up the oil for round one. I had a lot of fries so I split them into two batches. This actually worked out well because I could cook the second batch while the first batch was resting between oil immersions.

The fries were cooked at 320°F for about 10 minutes. They were limp and yellow. The oil was heated to 375°F and the fries were cooked a second time for about 5 minutes until golden brown and crispy. The fries were laid out on paper towel and then liberally coated in salt and pepper and then served to a hungry family.

Rating: A- Everyone loved them. They turned out really nice for a first attempt at fries and I look forward to cooking them more often. The best recipe book is particular about resting times and such but with experience I think I could whip these out fairly quick. Especially since after round one you can actually freeze them.

** The vinegar in the background is from Mr. Vinegar. We picked up several bottles of flavored vinegars from them in the fall when we attended the One of a Kind show in Toronto. The spring show just finished up last weekend. I highly recommend them. I never knew how good vinegar could taste.

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