Restaurant-style PERFECT FRENCH FRIES
French fries; fries; chips; finger chips; french-fried potatoes; frites; hot chips; steak fries; potatoes wedges; whatever you call it, let me assure you that you will definitely love this recipe.
Despite the name, it is argued that French fries didn’t originate from France. There has been heated historical argument between French and Belgium on where fries came from.
So who invented French fry? Historians have traced the origin of French fry to Belgium. It was said that as early as 1600s, villagers turned to slicing and frying this root plant as a substitute for the small fishes they always got from the river. This was because of the frozen state of their river during winter and their inability to go fishing.
Since, the official language of the Belgians was French, American soldiers stationed there were believed to have nicknamed the potatoes fries as ‘French Fries’. So I also want to believe it may have nothing to do with French.
Fries are very addictive. No wonder they are toddlers’ favorite vegetables. I know you might say they aren’t 100% healthy; but I put it to you that they are more nutritious than you’d think 😀! Since they are made from potatoes which is vegetable, they contain all vitamins potatoes posseses including vitamin B6, Vitamin C, magnesium, and iron.
Why are restaurant and fast food french fries so much better than the ones you make at home? It’s simply because restaurants fry their potatoes more than once. The first frying is called BLANCHING ( according to Wikipedia, is a cooking process in which food, usually vegetable or fruit is scalded in boiling water or oil (as in fries) for few minutes, removed and allowed to cool, either by plunging it into iced water, or placed under running water, before they are finally cooked or fried). These subsequent frying then give you a fattier, crispier end result.
Which potatoes are ideal for making French Fries? Fries are made with starchy potato, because this will ensure that the potato doesn’t taste bitter. Russet potatoes are the most commonly used variety.
Why did I soak my Fries in Sugar solution? Sugar solutions tends to make the fries brownier. During cooking of the fries, sugar will react with proteins and make the fries brown. I soaked my potatoes in sugar solution for 15minutes. You definitely can soak it for 30 minutes or even overnight!
What kind of oil can I use when making fries? You can use a good brand of vegetable oil and/or canola oil.
Tips to making perfect restaurant-style Fries:
- Cut potatoes in thin stripes. The thinner your cut, the crispier it gets.
- Soaking. Soaking your potatoes does not only produce fluffier and crispier fries but it also removes excess starch.
- You can cut, soak, and do the first fry on the potatoes up to 2 hours ahead. Keep at room temperature and do the second fry just before serving.
- After soaking drain the potato sticks and pat them dry with either paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. When making large batches of fries, I usually pat with a kitchen towel. Arrange them in a single layer to air-dry for a bit (about 10 minutes). The drier they are before frying, the better.
- The best fries are double-fried. The first which is blanching is simply frying on low heat for 2 minutes, then frying in a hotter oil to crisp.
- After blanching, place on a tray with layers of paper towel or clean kitchen towel and repeat patting. You can also spread them on a kitchen rack to dry out a little. At this stage, if you’re not ready to fry, you can keep the blanched fries in ziplock bags and freeze. This will be similar to your store bought frozen blanched fries. Once you are ready to fry, allow them come to room temperature (thaw), then fry.
- Another way I make my fries crispier is by sprinkling cornstarch/cornflour/potatoes starch on them after blanching and patting them. This step is optional but I love the extra crispy effect it has on the potatoes.
- Do not overcrowd your pan or fryer. Adding too many fries at one time will bring down the temperature of the oil and cause soggy fries.
- After the second frying, drain well on layers of paper towel and sprinkle some salts or seasoning of your choice on the fries while it’s still warm.
- Wash and scrap off the outer layer of your potatoes. You can decide to wash and cut the potatoes into wedges before scrapping off the outer layer. This won’t affect the end result.
- Cut potatoes in wedges and then cut into stripes about ¼ to ½ inch.
- Transfer into a bowl, wash with cold water to remove excess starch.
- Next add sugar and warm water in a bowl, make sure sugar dissolves completely. This makes the sugar solution
- Pour fries into the sugar solution and set aside for 15 minutes.
- After 15minutes, transfer potatoes to a tray with layers of paper towels or clean kitchen towel. Pat them dry with a paper towel or kitchen towel.
- Preheat oil to 250 – 300 degree or on low heat and blanch it in the oil for 2 minutes.
- Transfer blanched potatoes to a tray with layers of paper two or kitchen towel and pat again. Then leave them to dry for about 10 minutes. If not frying immediately, store in ziplock bag and freeze.
- If frying slightly dust your potatoes with cornstarch /cornflour/ or even potatoes starch. Mix the starch well into the potatoes.
- Fry potatoes on medium to high heat till crisp and golden brown.
- Transfer to a tray with layers of paper towel to drain out excess oil. Sprinkle salt or seasoning of your choice on the fries while still hot. Serve alongside ketchup or mayonnaise or a dipping sauce of your choice while still hot.
To make the simple seasoning:
- Mix together black pepper, salt, and chilli pepper well. Sprinkle on your fries.