[Previous Thread] [Return to BigSpud: The Potato Recipe Collection Menu][Next Thread]

Subject: Ulimate French Fries: Your Recipe?
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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

From: DaveH 
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2002 13:41:25 -0400
--------
Yes, I've Googled, endlessly, experimented almost as much. 
Now I would like to hear the state-of-the-art in Fries in this group.

My best results to date result from double frying russet potatoes in
Crisco shortening. I've tried many variations, changing one variable
at a time:

*Potatoes: Yukon Gold, Red, White and Russet. Gold and Red were
miserable failures. White produces a Fry with a creamy interior and
less crisp exterior--wife like's these. Russet produces maximum
external crispiness.

*Oil: I've only tried Crisco shortening and Lard. I thought Lard was
supposed to  render a superior fry, but they were limp even after
double frying and Lard truly stinks. I've not tried Peanut oil or
Alton Brown's recommended Safflower oil, nor Canola, Corn, Cornola,
Cannula Oil...

*Method: Clearly, double frying is mandatory, as is ice water
immersion before the 1st fry (par-fry).  

I've seen many oil temp recommendations. 370/380, 300/375F, etc, for
1st and 2nd Fry respectively. 375/375 seems to work as well as any
other differential, 2.5 - 3 min 1st, then until golden-golden brown
for the 2nd.

Thus far, my best batches have been quite good, but not as good as the
best I've had. I wonder about Potato parameters: Age, source, size.
Tater characteristics seem to be more critical than first thought.
I've tried freezing after slicing and after 1st fry--no improvement.
General girth and cross-sectional configuration effect final texture.

What say ye?

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

From: Mike Harris 
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2002 18:34:29 GMT
--------
Dave, you're on the right track with ice water soak and double frying,
but beef tallow is the grease of choice.  Mickey D's used it exclusively
until consumer demand for vegetable caused them to switch.  They still
add a "tallow flavoring" to their fries.
============================

From: DaveH 
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2002 16:55:53 -0400
--------
Mike Harris wrote:
>Dave, you're on the right track with ice water soak and double frying,
>but beef tallow is the grease of choice.  Mickey D's used it exclusively
>until consumer demand for vegetable caused them to switch.  They still
>add a "tallow flavoring" to their fries.

Mike,
I assume beef tallow is not the same as the bucket of "Lard" I found
at Food Lion? Is not peanut oil also supposed to be good?

Texture with Crisco shortening is good but I can't say the taste is
terribly exciting. Kosher salt helps.

Lard --> Veg Oil. This explains McD's fry's decline in quality. But
then, all of their food has declined in quality, unless it's just my
aging pallet. So has the service. 

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

From: Phil 
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2002 15:43:22 -0600
--------
DaveH wrote:
> I assume beef tallow is not the same as the bucket of "Lard" 

Correct. Real lard comes from pigs.

Tried freezing them b4 the first fry? 

Tried Wesson Fry? (or named close.... been years)  Available at most
restaurant supply houses... we used to use that at the rest, then we
changed when folks started clamoring about "healthy" oil/fat. Fries
never tasted as good after that.

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

From: Mike Harris 
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2002 22:00:19 GMT
--------
DaveH wrote:
> I assume beef tallow is not the same as the bucket of "Lard" 

Nope, lard is pig fat.  Tallow is beef fat and more difficult to find. 
You may be able to find it at a restaurant supply place although it's
usually sold in 50-lb blocks.  You can render your own if you can buy
beef fat trimmings at your Food Lion.  

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

From: Buckler 
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2002 20:56:42 GMT
--------
Mike Harris wrote:
>Dave, you're on the right track with ice water soak and double frying,
>but beef tallow is the grease of choice.  Mickey D's used it exclusively
>until consumer demand for vegetable caused them to switch.  They still
>add a "tallow flavoring" to their fries.

Back when McDonalds' fries were good, didn't they also spray them with
sugar water before freezing? 

As I recall, Julia Child had a great fondness for them...

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

From: Mike Harris 
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2002 22:01:54 GMT
--------
Buckler wrote:
> Back when McDonalds' fries were good, didn't they also spray them with
> sugar water before freezing?

I don't know about the sugar water; it'd certainly help the final
browning.

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

From: Steve Wertz 
Date: Mon, 01 Jul 2002 04:15:16 GMT
--------
Buckler wrote:
> Back when McDonalds' fries were good, didn't they also spray them with
> sugar water before freezing?

McD's still puts a light sugar coating on their fries to help brown them,
and to appeal to the younger pallettes (which is what McDonalds is really 
after).

It was a question on one of the recent 'Kids Jeopardy' shows.

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

From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 30 Jun 2002 20:34:49 GMT
--------
DaveH writes:
>General girth and cross-sectional configuration effect final texture.

Buy a "crinkle cut" knife... nothing else to know, really.

Right, Stan?

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

From: DaveH 
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2002 17:01:49 -0400
--------
Sheldon wrote:
>Buy a "crinkle cut" knife... nothing else to know, really.

Interesting. I assume the increased surface area effected by the
crinkle-cut knife results in a superior fry? Thanks!

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

From: mr_pie[at]yahoo.com
Date: Mon, 01 Jul 2002 00:40:59 GMT
--------
Don't know about ULTIMATE, but here's one that's way FUN!!!   I once
purchased some of the longest potatoes I could find....shoestringed
them and soaked them in a strong salt brine.  They became so limp that
I could tie them in knots....then soaked them in fresh water until
they became turgid again, and fried them.  I don't think people even
noticed the taste....they wanted to know how I did that!  Be sure to
make up some good stories beforehand!!!!
It's a pain in the arse for the cook, but it sure makes an interesting
presentation!

TON (The Obvious Newbie)

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

From: DaveH 
Date: Mon, 01 Jul 2002 13:50:17 -0400
--------
mr_pie wrote:
>Don't know about ULTIMATE, but here's one that's way FUN!!!   I once
>purchased some of the longest potatoes I could find....shoestringed
>them and soaked them in a strong salt brine.  They became so limp that

Interesting. What was the effect of this process? How did they differ
from Fries not so processed?

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

From: mr_pie[at]yahoo.com
Date: Mon, 01 Jul 2002 19:51:45 GMT
--------
DaveH wrote:
>Interesting. What was the effect of this process? How did they differ
>from Fries not so processed?

The ends were a little drier than the knots, but other than
that....just a fry!

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

From: sf[at]pipeline.com (sf)
Date: Tue, 02 Jul 2002 05:35:27 GMT
--------
mr_pie wrote:
>The ends were a little drier than the knots, but other than
>that....just a fry!

Cute idea.  Didn't know salted water wilted potatoes.

Maybe if the knots were looser, they would have fried more evenly.

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

From: Pat Meadows 
Date: Mon, 01 Jul 2002 21:22:55 GMT
--------
DaveH wrote:
>Thus far, my best batches have been quite good, but not as good as the
>best I've had. I wonder about Potato parameters: Age, source, size.

My husband is British, he wants 'proper chips' now and then.

He puts oil (canola, usually, but corn oil is fine too) in a
deep pot (we don't have or need a deep fryer).  He heats the
oil until it's almost smoking.

He puts *very* thick slices (almost chunks) of (peeled)
potato in the oil.  He keeps the flame on high throughout.
However, our stove is an old, cheap, crappy stove -- and
keeping the flame on high on a better stove might result in
a fire!  Caution is wise.

When the fries are sufficiently brown and cooked, he takes
them out of the oil and drains them on a paper towel.

Both my husband and I think Yukon Golds make the best fries.

That's how french fries are done in our house, and they are
quite good.

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

From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 02 Jul 2002 01:50:37 GMT
--------
Pat Meadows writes:
>That's how french fries are done in our house, and they are
>quite good.

Sounds about right to me.  Next cook your thick 'chips' the exact same way but
cut them with a crinkle-cut knife... kicks em up a BIG notch, BAM!   All the
"cook twice", "magic soak", and any other fercocktah machinations accomplish
nothing beneficial, all are a BIG waste of time.

Here is one version:
http://www.zesco.com/catalog/ics/productpage.cfm?mfrname=0&catid=22&subid=1307&pgroupid=ZP99153005&CFID=143438&CFTOKEN=87358054

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

From: judy bednar 
Date: Tue, 2 Jul 2002 12:03:26 +1000
--------
Sheldon wrote:
| Sounds about right to me.  Next cook your thick 'chips' the exact same way but
| cut them with a crinkle-cut knife... kicks em up a BIG notch, BAM!   All the
| "cook twice", "magic soak", and any other fercocktah machinations accomplish
| nothing beneficial, all are a BIG waste of time.

Sorry Sheldon, don't agree on two counts.  All crinkle cutting does is makes
them soak up even more oil, hence making them even more fattening.  Don't
know what you mean by "magic soak", but I do soak them (well, at least wash
them thoroughly) to get rid of the starch and dry them, before frying.  And,
taking them out of the oil when they became soft, to reheat the oil DOES
make them more crispy.

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

From: sf[at]pipeline.com (sf)
Date: Tue, 02 Jul 2002 05:51:29 GMT
--------
Sheldon wrote:

>Sounds about right to me.  Next cook your thick 'chips' the exact same way but
>cut them with a crinkle-cut knife... kicks em up a BIG notch, BAM!   

Only if you like crinkle cut... I've outgrown them.

>All the
>"cook twice"

I think that depends on the cook.  My husband does his in one dunk.  I
am a double dipper.  

>, "magic soak"

?????????

and any other fercocktah machinations accomplish
>nothing beneficial, all are a BIG waste of time.

I make oven fries and they are a requested item at my house.  Tastes
great and less mess, for sure - no oil to toss out after.... which I
don't think is a waste of time or $$$.

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

From: Doug Weller 
Date: 13 Jul 2002 15:32:15 -0500
--------
sf wrote:
>I make oven fries and they are a requested item at my house.  Tastes
>great and less mess, for sure - no oil to toss out after.... which I
>don't think is a waste of time or $$$.

Any particular secret to the way you make them?

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

From: Grant Dixon 
Date: Mon, 8 Jul 2002 18:31:01 -0400
--------
Pat Meadows wrote:
>My husband is British, he wants 'proper chips' now and then.

There are two way of doing French Fries.  If you hubby is British then he
will like the traditional British (like Mom makes)  way.   Deep fry the
potatoes in oil at about 360 degrees  when the are done remove drain the oil
them salt them right away then plunk them in the oven at 250 degrees  to
keep them warm till served.

The method I like is to deep fry them at 325 degrees  for about 7 minutes
....drain them and then deep fry them for another 2 minutes at 375 degrees
drain again and salt.   This is the way fish and chip places make them.

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

From: Michael Sierchio 
Date: Mon, 08 Jul 2002 17:10:30 -0700
--------
Grant Dixon wrote:
> The method I like is to deep fry them at 325 degrees  for about 7 minutes
> ....drain them and then deep fry them for another 2 minutes at 375 degrees
> drain again and salt.

In 85% peanut oil and 15% duck fat.  Yum.

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

From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 09 Jul 2002 02:14:57 GMT
--------
Grant Dixon writes:
>This is the way fish and chip places make them.

How do you know, did you investigate them all... is there some kind of
international fish and chip frying law mandating every fish and chip place on
the planet must cook fries exactly the same way... who do you think you are
anyway, Mr. Potato Head?

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

From: Grant Dixon 
Date: Mon, 8 Jul 2002 23:33:58 -0400
--------
Sheldon wrote:
> How do you know, did you investigate them all... is there some kind of
> international fish and chip frying law mandating every fish and chip place on
> the planet must cook fries exactly the same way... who do you think you are
> anyway, Mr. Potato Head?

Sheldon

You are quite right I should have said the best fish and chip places.  I
didn't realize that this was a scholarly body of learned individuals so I
didn't give my source for this statement or my two stage recipe for cooking
French Fries,  I originally saw the double fry  recipe in Joy of Cooking,
next in Gourmet Magazine and later in Vegetables the Good Cook Book and
later ... no that should be enough.  The quote about the best fish and chip
places came for, Gourmet Magazine and to date I have never seen a good one
make them differently.   The idea is that the second frying gives them a bit
extra body, a slight puffing up.

As to who do I think I am ...that is on my home page for all to see and the
*Mr Potato Head* remark was uncalled for, rude, and silly.  Without an
apology I will not speak to you again.

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

From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 09 Jul 2002 14:19:38 GMT
--------
Mr. PHD writes:
>Sheldon,
>As to who do I think I am the *Mr Potato Head* remark 
>was uncalled for, rude, and silly.  Without an apology 
>I will not speak to you again.

Obviously yoose got the skin of a Newbie Potato.

You think that's rude... most people here would consider that the ultimate
compliment... least I didn't call you a friggin' Mr. Potato Head. 

You do realize that for as long as you post here you'll be known as "Mr. PHD"
(Mr. Potato Head Dixon).

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

From: judy bednar 
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 02:04:28 +1000
--------
Sheldon wrote:
| How do you know, did you investigate them all... is there some kind of
| international fish and chip frying law mandating every fish and chip place on
| the planet must cook fries exactly the same way... who do you think you are
| anyway, Mr. Potato Head?

Well Sheldon, every fish and chip shop I've ever been in does it that way.
Don't know about the temperature of the oil, but they do par fry them in big
batches and then cook them to crisp and brown them to order.

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

From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 09 Jul 2002 17:14:04 GMT
--------
judy bednar writes:
>Well Sheldon, every fish and chip shop I've ever been in does it that way.

Big deal, I could make the same claim when I've been to two shops.
I don't believe you.... I wouldn't believe you if your tongue were notarized.


[Previous Thread] [Return to BigSpud: The Potato Recipe Collection Menu][Next Thread]