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How to Make Amazing French Fries

admin May 25, 2010

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French Fries.

They aren’t exactly ” real food,” so maybe you don’t eat them anymore.  We don’t (usually) eat French fries that came in a bag, frozen or from restaurants.  But from home?  Absolutely!  There is redeeming value to eating real, homemade French fries.  Yes, because they’re so starchy it probably isn’t a good idea to have them all the time, but hey — sometimes is fine!  We love these so I do make them a couple times a month.  They are so good, though!  You’ll have to try them for yourself. 🙂

I first got the idea to do fries this way from Kelly the Kitchen Kop.  She loved them too (although hers are slightly different), so there’s another reason to go ahead and try them!

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 6 large potatoes
  • Oil for frying (beef tallow or lard)
  • Sea salt

Directions:

First, wash your potatoes and bring them to your cutting board.  Start a large pot of water to boil on the stove.

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Slice all your potatoes into fries.  You can choose how thick you want them, just make sure they’re roughly uniform.

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When your water is boiling, put your fries into the water for about three minutes.  This blanches, or partially cooks them.  Do this about one or two potatoes at a time so you don’t overwhelm the pot.

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Start a large pan heating with the oil in it.  ONLY fry in organic saturated fats.  DO NOT use vegetable oil or any other liquid oil.  Liquid oils will oxidize and create trans fats and are very unhealthy for frying in (and really, ever).  You can mix whatever saturated fats you want, though.  I have fried in both tallow and lard.  Tallow (beef, that is) has more of a flavor, while lard is more neutral.  I started frying in lard, truthfully, because I ran out of beef tallow and haven’t had time to render more.  But both produce equally crispy, yummy fries.  You want your fat hot when you add your fries, hot enough that they sizzle immediately.  If it’s not, they’ll just take longer to cook, but will turn out fine.

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When the timer goes off, take the fries out and put them on a towel to drain.  Pat them dry carefully.  If they’re still wet when they go into the oil, they will cause the oil to pop and spatter you — not fun!

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Now, add your fries to your oil.  If your oil isn’t hot enough, you can turn it up a little bit.  Aim for about medium-high heat.  Too high and they’ll burn quickly; not high enough and they’ll just take forever.  Which is okay if you want to be in the kitchen ALL DAY.

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When your fries are between golden and dark brown (depending on how crispy you like them), remove them from the pan.  Mine looked like this just before I removed them:

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Place them on a plate (with a towel to catch the grease if you want).  Shake sea salt over them.  Give them just a minute to cool so you don’t burn yourself, then sample your fries!

Repeat the procedure for each batch that you have.  How many batches depends on how many potatoes and the size of your pan.  In a medium pan, I can get about 1 large potato at once.  In a large pan (pictured), I can get about 2 large potatoes at once.

Do you make fries at home?

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6 Comments

  1. Where do you get lard or tallow? Can you get it at Whole Foods? I’ve never made these kinds of fries, but my husband and daughter had some from a place that uses duck fat and they both loved them so it might be fun to try your recipe. Sometime we make sweet potato fries, instead of frying we just coat them with olive oil and bake them.

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  2. Bridgette,

    I get mine from local farmers. I rendered the tallow myself; I got a big bag of "beef suet" to work with! Messy but not difficult. I got the lard from another farmer. If you can find a local farmer to buy from, I would. I have not specifically seen it at Whole Foods (and as they are pro-vegan and pro-low-fat, well…). Don’t buy it at a regular store because while they have "lard," it is not pure lard. It is lard mixed with "partially hydrogenated lard." Ugh!!

    Check http://www.eatwild.com to look for a local farm, and even if they don’t list it on their website, if they have animals, call or email and ask. (Neither of my farmers "officially" offer it for sale, but I asked and got it.)

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  3. Oh. My. Gosh. That looks amazing. I am starving now!

    I never fry if I can help it – I don’t like how messy it is, and plus I feel like the whole house ends up smelling like stale grease. Those look worth it, though…

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  4. Greetings from the country of fries (Belgium!) and a little warning: as soon as your fries start turning golden, acrylamide is forming!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acrylamide#Cooking_methods_that_affect_acrylamide_production
    Be careful 🙂

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  5. We do "baked" fries. We cut up the potatoes, just as you did, then brush with some oil and salt, place on a large cookie sheet and bake in oven ~375 degrees until crispy. It takes about 40 minutes. We usually turn them one time, 20 minutes in. They taste great, but aren't loaded with as much oil.

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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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