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Subject: French Fries


From: sjohnm[at] (S John M)
Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 06:42:32 GMT
I got a dense question:

How do I start with potatoes, oil, and whatever else that's necessary and end up
with french fries? If anyone is patient enough to explain in detail-- or direct
me to a "cooking french fries for idiots" FAQ-- I'd be way grateful. Thanks in
advance. :-)


From: Bob Y. <rdyoung[at]>
Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 06:00:05 -0500
I'll give it a try. You will need: (1) oil for cooking, (2) heavy pot or
electric deep frier, (3) a deep frying thermometer, (4) a sharp knife
and cutting baord or a French fry cutter (cheap and handy), and (5)
nice, unblemished Idaho or similar potato (do not use new potatoes).

Pour oil in pot or deep frier and heat to 325║F. While oil is heating,
peel the potato and trim to fit French fry cutter or cut them into fries
with a 1/4 x 1/4 or 1/2 x 1/2 inch cross section. If using a frier with
a basket, lower it into the oil for a minute to heat it. Put fries in
basket and lower or *carefully* drop them into the hot oil. Do not try
to cook too many at a time as it lowers the oil temp, about 1 1/2 cups
is right. Cook for 3 minutes. This will seal the potatoes. Drain on
paper towels and let sit for 20 minutes.

Bring oil temp up to 375║F. Cook potatoes a second time for 4 minutes,
or until browned as desired. Immediately drain well on paper towels and
salt lightly. Serve warm.

Potatoes my be held up to 3 hours between first and second fryings. This
method is called, strangely enough double frying.


From: Art Simon <aasimon[at]>
Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 19:39:57 -0500
[good stuff about ff's snipped]

Which, of course, calls to mind the cannibal who could get his
missionaries tender.... <G>

Right, Bob?


From: Chris Kotchey <ckotchey[at]>
Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 11:57:35 -0400
I just found the following site for ya:

A link within their site I found rather interesting (and made my stomach
growl) was:


From: sjohnm[at] (S John M)
Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 17:07:12 GMT
Sincerest thanks... I'm sure I'll be posting a question about left over
cooking oil tomorrow at about this same time. Anyhow, has any other
not-a-bachelor-but-still-lives-alone guy noticed that it's actually a bigger
grocery store expenditure to make Burgers and Fries at home than it is to make
thick juicy steaks? I mean, my god, Burgers have so many components (cheese,
condiments, yadda│) you might as well just have a steak. Anyhow, my better half
is here tonight so I decided I'd get experimental (in the *kitchen* for a
change) and see what I could accomplish.

	Thanks again for all the help :-)


From: Art Simon <aasimon[at]>
Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 19:45:01 -0500
S John M wrote:
> I mean, my god, Burgers have so many components (cheese,
> condiments, yadda│) you might as well just have a steak. 

You have experienced *enlightenment*, Grasshopper. <G>

Omaha Steaks sells not only to the rich....

However, that steak should have brown butter with capers,
I think. And the mashed potatoes should be made with roasted
garlic, roasted onion and a bit of basil, I should say. Then,
the perfect side is steamed brocolli (Down, George!), topped
with a bit of Hollandaise or (Escoffier, forgive me..) some
Welsh Rarebit.

Art <-who knows what he likes.

Subject: Re: French Fries (Re: days of slack)

From: sjohnm[at] (S John M)
Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 13:46:32 GMT
Pam wrote:
> manekineko wrote:
> > Heat about 2" of oil/shortening in a pan (or, if you have a deep fryer,
> > use that). Take two baking potatoes, peel them, and cut them into thin
> > strips. When the oil is hot, start frying the potato strips.
> If you put the potato strips in a bowl of ice water for a few minutes
> before frying it makes the outsides crispier (for those into crispy fries.)
> When I was pregnant with Simon I got in a VERY BAD habit of making homemade
> potato chips by putting potatoes through the salad shooter and then deep
> frying them and eating them hot with lots of salt and catsup.  Yes I am a
> health nut ;-)

	Many thanks to all who contributed to my experimental French Fry thingy.
So here's what happened: well, first of all, the reason for wanting to do this
was because Al is a hamburger kind of guy... and I never make them because they
require so many damn components (you gotta buy buns and cheese and so on not to
mention actually fashioning hamburger patties... it's actually more
cost-effective and less complicated to just do steaks). Anyhow, Al was here
mid-week and I had a the day at home and was feeling all "spousal" so I figured
I'd go to the trouble and do the "All American Cook Out" type thing... now being
anti-potato chips, not wanting to fall back on the baked potato deal (we seem to
have them with EVERY meal) and wanting to express my adoration in the KITCHEN
for a change-- thus eliminating frozen fries in the oven which frankly I do not
like-- I decided I'd make the visible effort of starting with potatoes and
ending with fries... mmmmm. So basically, I ended up with 3 follow-ups in, 5 e-mails from there and two from here and elected to follow the
instructions of the second follow-up from Now, the burgers I did
with ground sirloin (which actually, I do everything that requires burger with)
and made them with some chopped-onion, some bread crumbs, and a little garlic
powder... they came off the grill fine. Ok, the fries...

	Well, the trick with them is apparently the "fry them twice" thing...
which I did. Now, I don't have deep fryer so I went and got a thermometer for
hot oil and half filled the "big pot" from my "T-Fag" collection (which I've
come to discover is called a dutch oven) with Wesson. I peeled cut with great
precision five average sized Idaho potatoes into friable sticks. I let them soak
in water for a couple hours I guess, the last 30 minutes of which I let them
soak in powdered sugar water. now it took me nearly an hour to get the oil to be
325 degrees (this proved to be delicate procedure, but FINALLY got it there).
Then, much to my dismay adding the fries to the oil for the first round of
frying made the oil temp plummet (which I was told to expect) but doing the
fries in "batches" kind of goofed up the next batch. Anyway, I got them all
fried for 3 minutes at 325 (or as close as I was getting it then let them sit
for what turned out to be an hour attempting to get the oil to be 375. Then I
fried them again for 4 minutes in 2 batches-- the first of which came out too
brown the second too yellow... but they were edible (or course at Wendy's I'd've
took them back to the counter and had them to try again). So basically, I
suppose the project met completion if not success. Oh well... I can say I've
"done it" now... though it occurred to me after about 3 hours of work that
Hardee's is less than a mile from my house and Fries are a buck there. The
greater purpose of Al observing me investing so much time in creating (or
attempting to, anyhow) culinary delight was achieved though... so I guess it was
a success. Well... except now that my apartment now smells all "deep fried" :-o


From: Sara <nospam[at]>
Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 11:48:00 -0500
S John M wrote:
>Many thanks to all who contributed to my experimental French Fry thingy.
> So here's what happened: <snip>	

Anyone who goes to this much trouble to make french fries for her
sweetie is a a damn fine woman.  I bet that fella felt loved, which is
our job as spouses (to make each other feel that way).  Good for you.

<You don't have to do it again, do you? <g>>


From: manekineko <johannah[at]>
Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 13:30:33 -0400
Sara wrote:
> Anyone who goes to this much trouble to make french fries for her
> sweetie is a a damn fine woman. 

Yer a damn fine woman, S. John! 




From: rashid1116[at] (Rashid1116)
Date: 21 May 1998 18:18:54 GMT
I like to make homemade french fries myself , but heres how I do it. I don't
have a deep fryer , so I use a wok , filled with about 2-3 inches of oil. I
heat it up on the medium-high setting , for about 5 min. I don't go through the
trouble of taking the temperature. Then I cut up a few potatoes(with skins
still on)into fries.I don't soak them or anything. Then I just drop them into
the oil , let them fry until they are brown(under 10 min.)And thats it. 
  The whole process takes about 20 min. and they aren't half bad.

  But I do sympathize with you. I have gone through hell a couple of times ,
too , trying to make my husband a damn good meal !


From: Anna <annah[at]>
Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 07:20:15 +0200
S John M wrote:
<snipped French Fry story>

For the next time, I'd recommend sliced (wedge shaped) potatoes. Peel
them, slice them and put them in the oven (250 degrees C) with some
pieces of butter, and fry them until they are soft inside and has a nice
color outside. Add salt and herbs according to preference (thyme and
oregano  for example). With enough fat in they're quite like French
Fries, with less fat they're helthier, and once they're in the oven you
can do other things, they'll take care of themselves.

My first recipe in English!


From: michel[at] (Michel Mes)
Date: Wed, 03 Jun 1998 20:16:01 GMT
French Fries? is the answer

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