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Subject: French fries?
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: Nancy Young 
Date: Sun, 20 Oct 2002 16:49:25 -0400
--------
I was just watching Follow that Food, and some guy (notice I wasn't
watching that closely) was making french fries.  He showed how they
cooked the fries in 425 oil until they were cooked, but not fries.
(something like that, okay, I'm reading a book while watching the
show)

At any rate, I have being going to these pub type places for I don't
know how many years ... this guy owns 4 restaurants.  I 
frequent/frequented two of them.  They have a lot in common (duh),
and one of them is ... they have the *WORST* french fries on the
planet.

Now, a pub type of place, shouldn't that be something they do well?
I know they buy them frozen, I'm sure of that much, but what else
are they doing wrong?  My thinking is that their oil isn't hot
enough ... but in both restaurants?  They are pale yellow and limp.
(laugh)  Sounds rude, and hey, good for me because I'm not tempted
to eat them.  Or maybe they are crowding the oil?  What do you 
think?

============================

From: Scott Taylor 
Date: Sun, 20 Oct 2002 21:03:47 GMT
--------
Nancy Young wrote:
> I know they buy them frozen, I'm sure of that much, but what else
> are they doing wrong?  My thinking is that their oil isn't hot
> enough ... but in both restaurants?  They are pale yellow and limp.

Pale yellow and limp, sounds like the frying oil is not hot enough, could
very well be they're throwing too many at a time into the fryer and the
temperature drops off a lot. Mistake #2 would be buying frozen fries.  yuk

============================

From: Nancy Young 
Date: Sun, 20 Oct 2002 17:17:55 -0400
--------
Scott Taylor wrote:
> Pale yellow and limp, sounds like the frying oil is not hot enough, could
> very well be they're throwing too many at a time into the fryer and the
> temperature drops off a lot. Mistake #2 would be buying frozen fries.  yuk

I agree, I can assure you, there isn't some guy with a french fry 
cutter back there, but I think that's true of a lot of places and
they manage to get the fries crunchy.  It's funny, I've had plenty
of good food there, some really great, and once in a while ... not
good.  But there's one thing you can count on.  Crappy fries.

Just as well, if they served crunchy waffle fries, I wouldn't eat
my meal.

============================

From: Jill McQuown 
Date: Sun, 20 Oct 2002 16:39:23 -0500
--------
The bestest french fries I ever had were inspired by that movie, "My Sweet
Charlie".  I hauled out a skillet and peeled and cut some white 'taters into
fries.  Heated some vegetable oil in the skillet and added the potatoes, a
handful at a time.  Cooked them on HIGH heat, removed with a slotted spoon
to paper towels, added the next batch and ditto.  Sprinkled with salt and oh
YUM!  IIRC, I did this in the middle of the night.  I think the movie was
showing on the late late show.  Sure did set off a craving!  I must have
been about 15 at the time.

============================

From: MH 
Date: Sun, 20 Oct 2002 22:38:46 GMT
--------
Nancy Young wrote:
> Just as well, if they served crunchy waffle fries, I wouldn't eat
> my meal.

I had never heard of waffle fries before and just saw them yesterday on the
Food network. Wow, those look good! I'm glad they're aren't any available
near me.

Martha H.

============================

From: Jill McQuown 
Date: Sun, 20 Oct 2002 17:55:03 -0500
--------
MH wrote:
> I had never heard of waffle fries before and just saw them yesterday on the
> Food network. Wow, those look good! I'm glad they're aren't any available
> near me.

I think they require a special cutter.  And they are absolutely wonderful
when fried golden crisp.  I eat them rarely.  They serve them at Chick-fil-E
here.

It's also a favorite expletive of mine when something doesn't go right at
work.  Wafflefries!!

============================

From: Teresa Williamson 
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 00:44:27 GMT
--------
Jill McQuown wrote:
> I think they require a special cutter.  And they are absolutely wonderful
> when fried golden crisp.  I eat them rarely.  They serve them at Chick-fil-E
> here.

Psst: They also serve them at BYB.
8-)

============================

From: ŠThe Wolf 
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 03:55:59 GMT
--------
This might be changing the subject a little;

Does anyone know how to make "curly fries" they serve a Jack in the Box?

I realize you need a gadget to cut the potatoes, how about the spices?

============================

From: Nancy Young 
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 17:14:52 -0400
--------
Jill McQuown wrote:
> I think they require a special cutter.  And they are absolutely wonderful
> when fried golden crisp.  I eat them rarely.  They serve them at Chick-fil-E
> here.

They use those cutters that would make ruffled potatoes (whatever),
like a mandolin slicer, then turn the potato 90 degrees and make 
the next cut.  

============================

From: cath804[at]webtv.net (cath804[at]webtv.net)
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 11:33:02 -0400 (EDT)
--------
We owned a French Fry business for a few years. It does not matter how
many you have in the basket, as long as the oil is not too high that it
would bubble over. You start by frying them at 325deg. until they are
cooked - but not brown - about 15 minutes. You can test them by lifting
the basket and squeezing one fry between your forefinger and thumb.  You
then let them cool and finish fryng them at 375-400deg. This gives you
beautiful golden crisp fries....
If you are making fish etc. to go with them, bring your fries to the
first stage and then let them sit in a container until your fish is
ready and it will only take a couple of minutes to brown the fries.
We used a mixture of vegetable oil and vegetable shortening for tastiest
results.

============================

From: Jill McQuown 
Date: Sun, 20 Oct 2002 16:13:19 -0500
--------
Nancy Young wrote:
> Now, a pub type of place, shouldn't that be something they do well?
> I know they buy them frozen, I'm sure of that much, but what else
> are they doing wrong?  My thinking is that their oil isn't hot
> enough ... but in both restaurants?  They are pale yellow and limp.

I think you're right.  They aren't frying them "crisp" in good hot oil.

============================

From: sf[at]pipeline.com (sf)
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 01:18:45 GMT
--------
Nancy Young wrote:
> They are pale yellow and limp.
> (laugh)  Sounds rude, and hey, good for me because I'm not tempted
> to eat them.  Or maybe they are crowding the oil?  What do you 
> think?

None of the above.  They just need to leave the fries in longer to
brown. 

We tell them that we want our fries "well done" - it's a phrase most
places understand.  Places that make limp, blonde fries do it because
that's the way most of their customers like them.  So speak up and
tell them to leave your fries in the frier until they are golden
brown.  It IS possible to get good fries!  

Oh, yes.... maybe establishments purchase commercial frozen fries
these days, but it's not a new idea.  When I was just a snippet of a
teenager working my first (and only) waitressing job at the local
coffeeshop - they made their own frozen fries.   I didn'have to peel
the potatoes, but I got to use the gizmo that cuts the potatoes into
fries during our slack time.  Doing that and making milkshakes were my
fun on the job.  Anyway, the cook precooked the potatoes w/o browning
them and then they froze the fries so that during the dinner rush,
they could make fries fast.

============================

From: Jerry Jungmann 
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 03:59:44 GMT
--------
sf wrote:
>   Anyway, the cook precooked the potatoes w/o browning
> them and then they froze the fries so that during the dinner rush,
> they could make fries fast.>

The cook was blanching the fries.  That is the best method for making crisp
fries.  They are fried at a lower temperature (300-325) for about three
minutes, cooking to remove moisture but not to a point of browning - then
refrigerate or freeze.  The potatoes are fried again at 350-375 degrees
until brown.  The result will be a crisp, on the outside, fry, and soft on
the inside.

Restaurants that do not blanch the fresh cut potatoes will serve limp fries
(the flavor will be good but the potatoes will not be crisp).

Before McDonald's went to frozen fries, all fries were cut on premise and
blanched before the rush began.

All good quality frozen fries have been pre-blanched.

============================

From: ŠThe Wolf 
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 03:59:19 GMT
--------
Jerry Jungmann opined:
> The cook was blanching the fries.  That is the best method for making crisp
> fries.  They are fried at a lower temperature (300-325) for about three
> minutes, cooking to remove moisture but not to a point of browning - then
> refrigerate or freeze.

I tried this once and they all stuck together and made a big mess.

How do you keep them from sticking together in the freezer after blanching?

============================

From: sf[at]pipeline.com (sf)
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 2002 02:04:32 GMT
--------
The Wolf wrote:
> I tried this once and they all stuck together and made a big mess.
> 
> How do you keep them from sticking together in the freezer after blanching?

In the restaurant, they were well drained, cooled and then put into
huge bags.  At home, I'd spread them on a cookie sheet to freeze and
transfer into a bag for keeping.

============================

From: Jack Schmidling 
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 2002 07:51:42 -0600
--------
Jerry Jungmann wrote:
> The cook was blanching the fries.  That is the best method for making crisp
> fries.  They are fried at a lower temperature (300-325) for about three
> minutes, cooking to remove moisture but not to a point of browning - then
> refrigerate or freeze.

Very interesting.   Sorry I missed the beginning of this thread.

First of all, that is the procedure for making "souffle potatoes" but one
uses thin round slices.  Having said that, I have never gotten it to work
very well.  They are supposed to puff up like pillows and stay that way.  I
attribute my failure to the fact that my fryer is factory set and there is
no way to fry at low temp.  I have a new fryer on order that should solve
that problem.

Back to French Fries..... I sort of suspected that something was done to the
pots before frying but was not sure what.  I tried salting and drying a few
hours before frying but then concluded that my fryer was the problem after
monitoring the temp.   It would drop 40 degs with just a hand full of stuff
in it.

I also tried to buy frozen fries at the supermarket but could only find
pre-cooked and gave up.  It now occurs to me that this might be the way to
go after all.  Not sure how they are pre-cooked or what "blanching" does but
this could serve the same purpose for a lot less work.  Not exactly home
made but what can they do to a potato other than peel and cut?

BTW, frying in oil at 300F is an interesting definition of blanching.

============================

From: blake murphy 
Date: Sat, 26 Oct 2002 16:06:50 -0400
--------
Jack Schmidling wrote:
>BTW, frying in oil at 300F is an interesting definition of blanching.

it certainly made me blanch.

============================

From: Spindrift[at]dontgotmail.com (Spindrift)
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 09:12:18 GMT
--------
I'd like to make my small contribution to this post.  I have a small
frier, but it is more trouble than it is worth to haul it out, put the
oil in, fry something, then deal with this used oil.   I have
compromised and this is what I came up with concerning fries.

I peel and cut roughly into irregular cubes some old white floury
potatoes.   I then soak them in cold water for a while - min. 20
minutes.  Remove and dry thoroughly.

I heat about an inch and a half of good fresh canola (or vegetable)
oil in a wok or skillet.   When the oil is really hot (and smoking and
I watch it all the time!) I fry the potato cubes in batches - usually
two batches for 3 of us - and keep warm in the warming compartment of
my oven on paper towels.  

I find this method is quite greaseless and the saute potatoes (for
this I discovered is their true name!) crisp and brown.   They are not
as crisp as those cooked in a frier in really hot oil, but they are a
darn sight easier to cook and the oil is also easier to deal with.

============================

From: Nancy Young 
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 14:40:47 -0400
--------
Spindrift wrote:
> I'd like to make my small contribution to this post.  I have a small
> frier, but it is more trouble than it is worth to haul it out, put the
> oil in, fry something, then deal with this used oil.   I have
> compromised and this is what I came up with concerning fries.

That sounds really good, thanks!  I'll try them next time I get a
craving.

============================

From: greenpus[at]aol.com (GREENPUS)
Date: 21 Oct 2002 11:58:37 -0700
--------
Spindrift wrote:
>    When the oil is really hot (and smoking and
> I watch it all the time!) I fry the potato cubes in batches - usually
> two batches for 3 of us - and keep warm in the warming compartment of
> my oven on paper towels.  

That is one of the best things you can do for frys.  MAKE SMALL
BATCHES!
To many people just throw in the frys and it cools down the grease and
they don' fry right.  Best way to make frys is to cut the potatoes and
soak in ice water for 30 minutes to an hour.  Heat up oil and bring
oil temp up to around 340 or so.  Take frys out of water and dry. 
Drop frys in oil and coook for a couple of minutes and then remove. 
Once all the frys have gone through the oil then raise temp of oil to
360 and start dropping frys back in.  Cook until desired doneness.

============================

From: sf[at]pipeline.com (sf)
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 03:05:38 GMT
--------
Spindrift wrote:
>    When the oil is really hot (and smoking and
> I watch it all the time!) I fry the potato cubes in batches - usually
> two batches for 3 of us - and keep warm in the warming compartment of
> my oven on paper towels.  

Sounds like a good way!  

I've taken to making "oven fries" lately.  Just coat them in oil, cook
for 20 minutes at 400°-450° turning once half way through.  Easy to
make,  no "watching", crisp, brown and best of all.... no extra oil to
throw out!

Plus, the hubster LOVES them and that's what counts.

============================

From: MH 
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 13:04:59 GMT
--------
sf wrote:
> I've taken to making "oven fries" lately.  Just coat them in oil, cook
> for 20 minutes at 400°-450° turning once half way through.  Easy to
> make,  no "watching", crisp, brown and best of all.... no extra oil to
> throw out!

I make sweet potato oven "fries" this way. They taste great.

Martha H.

============================

From: Jack Schidt 
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 13:21:54 GMT
--------
MH wrote:
> I make sweet potato oven "fries" this way. They taste great.

There's a place around here that offers sweet potato fries with smoked
tomato ketchup.  Terrific!!

Jack Shoestring

============================

From: sf[at]pipeline.com (sf)
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 03:21:39 GMT
--------
MH wrote:
> I make sweet potato oven "fries" this way. They taste great.

I have to try sweet potatoes... so many people say it's great that way
and I love 'em anyway, so that should be even better.

============================

From: jmoms[at]webtv.net (Jeanette S.)
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 11:23:33 -0500 (CDT)
--------
Another way to make oven fries:  Slice, spray with Pam, put in oven at
about 300°, turn after a few minutes and cook till brown.  Goood, and
low fat.  Sprinkle with salt to taste when done.  Jeanette

============================

From: jmoms[at]webtv.net (Jeanette S.)
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 12:18:54 -0500 (CDT)
--------
> Another way to make oven fries:  Slice, spray with Pam, put in oven at
> about 300°, 

Temperature of oven shoud be 375 to 400°.

============================

From: Louis Cohen 
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 06:13:50 GMT
--------
The best fries are said to be cooked twice, IIRC - first in oil not so hot
to cook them through, and then again in hotter oil to crisp and brown the
outside.    This is said to be the traditional Belgian/French method.  I
don't remember the oil temps, but you could probably find them at the foodtv
website.

============================

From: Nancy Young 
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 16:57:57 -0400
--------
Louis Cohen wrote:
> The best fries are said to be cooked twice, IIRC - first in oil not so hot
> to cook them through, and then again in hotter oil to crisp and brown the
> outside.  

I really should make my own.  Thanks for the info.

============================

From: Gar 
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 17:14:42 -0500
--------
Nancy Young wrote:
>I really should make my own.  Thanks for the info.

Yes you should. A few people mentioned soaking them and that usually
doesn't come up in these threads.  DO Not omit that step.  Cut, soak
and rinse.  Drain, blanch at 325 for a few minutes.  Drain and cool.
(I've spread them on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer for a few
minutes.)  Fry at 375 until you get the color and crispness you want.
You can add any spices you want directly to the oil.  Usually a touch
of garlic and Italian spice mixes work fine for me. Start with the oil
hotter because it will drop immediatly.  

============================

From: sf[at]pipeline.com (sf)
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 03:14:02 GMT
--------
Louis Cohen wrote:
> The best fries are said to be cooked twice, IIRC - first in oil not so hot
> to cook them through, and then again in hotter oil to crisp and brown the
> outside.  

When I make fries that way - I do both stages at the same temp.

The first time the fries go in, they don't stay long enough to brown.
I just fry them until they are, well - cooked through, then I dump
them out to drain, do another batch etc. (you know the drill).  When I
get back to batch #1 it's the browning cycle.

============================

From: stan[at]temple.edu
Date: 21 Oct 2002 13:22:35 GMT
--------
Nancy Young wrote:
>  They are pale yellow and limp.
> (laugh)  Sounds rude, and hey, good for me because I'm not tempted
> to eat them.  Or maybe they are crowding the oil?  What do you think?

The oil might have been rancid or not hot enough.

Nancy, as I recall, you live in NJ. For french fry lovers, NJ has
a little piece of heaven in Wildwood where the best french fries 
anyone could ever hope to eat are sold. 

Curly's Fries in Wildwood. There are two or three locations on the 
board walk, but the one at 26th Street on the board walk is the 
original. They cut their fries fresh from Idaho Russet potatoes
throughout the day. The fries are cooked in peanut oil and rarely
sit for more than a minute or two prior to being served. There's
a small condiment bar where ketchup is available on tap, along
with the usual other french frie condiments, except cheese which
costs extra. For around $4.50, you can get a whole bucket which
is enough for three or four people to enjoy. Other sizes are
available too. The fries are crinkle cut like the way Nathan's
fries are and the ketchup clings to them just right. The potato
is perfectly cooked every time with a crisp outside and delicate
potato inside. Friends and I have been getting Curly's Fries for
nearly 20 years each time we visit Wildwood and we've never ever
had so much as a single bad frie there.

You can even see the Curly's Fries people cutting up the fries
in a hand operated cutting machine and cooking them because its
a stand like at a carnval where the customers can see the entire
operation. The fries there are so popular that the line can have
as many as 50 people in line, but they only sell fries so the
line tends to move very quickly.

============================

From: Nancy Young 
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 14:59:29 -0400
--------
stan@temple wrote:
> Nancy, as I recall, you live in NJ. For french fry lovers, NJ has
> a little piece of heaven in Wildwood where the best french fries
> anyone could ever hope to eat are sold.

There's a place on the Seaside Boardwalk like that, the have a 
cutter that they put the potato in and it would make french fries.
They had a vat of oil right there, of course.  

I think I would overdo it with fries if there was a Curly's around
here.  The only time I get good fries in a restaurant now are
steak fries, and that's not the same.

============================

From: Janet L. Littler 
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2002 17:53:39 GMT
--------
MacDonalds are another chain whose french fries are inedible. I swear 
they make them out of cardboard.
the best french fries are made from russet potatoes, cut fresh and 
wrapped in a  cloth towel for about 1\2 hour
before frying. The next critical move is to have nice CLEAN oil (melted 
lard also works nicely) at the right
temperature. Then watch closely for just the right golden brown color. 
Frozen and blanched might as well be
made out of cardboard as that what they taste like.
Happy frying!

============================

From: sf[at]pipeline.com (sf)
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2002 01:54:29 GMT
--------
Janet L. Littler wrote:
> MacDonalds are another chain whose french fries are inedible. I swear 
> they make them out of cardboard.

Maybe your local McDonald's franchise needs a little surprise visit by
corporate.  Those fries and the oil shouldn't be the way you
described.  The method you mentioned is used by In N Out (I think), so
we know where you eat.  ;-)

BTW:  McDonald's uses Russet Burbank potatoes, which tend to be large
and elongated with few eyes and skin that peels off easily.

http://www-ucdmag.ucdavis.edu/su01/feature_2.html
(One potato, two potato)

============================

From: taz98273[at]webtv.net (Judy)
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2002 01:29:52 -0800 (PST)
--------
sf posted:
> http://www-ucdmag.ucdavis.edu/su01/feature_2.html
> (One potato, two potato)

This U.C. Davis article was also a good read.

Why Milk?

http://www-ucdmag.ucdavis.edu/sp01/feature_1.html

============================

Subject: Re: French fries?-Jill
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

============================

From: Tonya3000[at]webtv.net (KrazyTails)
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 03:56:57 -0400 (EDT)
--------
My Sweet Charlie  with Patty Duke was a very good movie

============================

Subject: Re: French fries?-Jerry
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

============================

From: Tonya3000[at]webtv.net (KrazyTails)
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 04:04:38 -0400 (EDT)
--------
When did McDonald's EVER have fresh french fries instead of frozen?
Friends that I went to school with first job was McDonald's  in 1969
They had frozen fries then Just curious

============================

From: Jerry Jungmann 
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 16:47:26 GMT
--------
> When did McDonald's EVER have fresh french fries instead of frozen?
> Friends that I went to school with first job was McDonald's  in 1969
> They had frozen fries then Just curious

In St. Louis in 1965.  Burgers were 15 cents, fries were a dime. And we were
paid .75 hour.


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