Frying foods gives them a crunchy exterior and a soft, moist interior. The hot fat immediately evaporates any moisture on the outside of the food. Whether you call them chips, pommes frites or French fries, potatoes are a favorite fried food. They're offered by nearly every fast-food restaurant. The secret to making crispy french fries at home is soaking the potatoes in water prior to frying.
Scrub the potatoes with a stiff brush used only for food. Remove all the grit and dirt.
Lay the potato lengthwise on the cutting board. Cut 1/2 inch off the ends of the potato. Turn the potato so one end is facing you. Slice 1/4 to 1/2 inch off the right side. Flip the potato so the side you just cut is now flat against the cutting board. Slice 1/4 to 1/2 inch off the right side of the potato. Turn that side down flat against the cutting board. Continue until you have sliced off all four sides and have a rectangular or square-shape potato with most of the skin cut off. Squaring the potato makes it easier to cut evenly shaped fries. Evenly shaped fries cook better. Repeat this for all of your potatoes.
Cut the potato into 1/2-inch-thick slices. The slices will be as wide as the potato. Stack the slices and cut them again into several 1/2-inch-wide sticks.
Put the potato sticks into a bowl. Fill the bowl with fresh cold water. Swirl the potatoes in the water. Pour the water out and refill with ice water. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for one to eight hours; a good compromise is two hours.
Drain the water from the bowl. Dry the potatoes completely with a terry cloth kitchen towel. If the potatoes are wet, the oil splatters too much.
- "Deep Secrets: Making the Perfect Fry; The Potato of the Moment is Often a Soggy Disappointment"; Amanda Hesser; New York Times; May 1999
- "The Art of Cooking Preparing and Presenting Fine Food"; Arnold Zabert; 1984
- Some cooks advise peeling the potatoes and soaking them for eight hours then slicing the potatoes into fries and soaking them for another eight hours.
- For extra-crispy fries, fry once at 325 degrees. Remove from the hot oil and let it cool for five to 10 minutes. Increase the heat to 375 degrees and fry again until golden brown.
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