Cooking School: French Fries

French fries

It didn’t take me long to figure out what to make for this week’s Cooking School post. Potatoes and tubers were the main topic last week, and before the class was over I knew I was going to be frying up some French fries. This called for flavored mayos too.

Homemade French fries are surprisingly easy, it just takes a little extra time. You don’t even need a deep fryer. All you really need is a good, sturdy pot. And freshly cut potatoes beat the store-bought kind any day of the week. I used a two step frying process too, which makes a big difference. The first dip in the oil will blanch the fries, while a second dip at higher heat will give the fries color and make them crispy. It’s worth the extra effort.

Here’s the recipe for the fries and a couple of flavored mayos at the bottom as well.

French Fries
2 Russet potatoes
1 1/2 – 2 quarts canola oil
Salt

Other Tools Needed:
Heavy pot,  ideally with high walls – 5 quart size works well
Skimmer – steel or mesh
Frying/candy thermometer
Sheet pan lined with paper towels

Wash the potatoes  under cold water until free of any dirt. Cut the potatoes lengthwise into 1/4 inch sized matchsticks (see below). Place the potato matchsticks in a bowl of cold water until ready for blanching.

Potato matchsticks for French fries

Blanching the potatoes. Fill the pot with 2 – 3 inches of oil and heat to 300 degrees. Add the potatoes to the oil, working in batches, and stir a few times to keep the fries from sticking or clumping together. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain a temp of 300 degrees. Blanching the fries will result in a roaring boil; but not to worry, this is normal and due mostly to the moisture and water that’s being released from the fries.

French fries blanching

Remove the fries after 3-4 minutes and drain on a sheet pan lined with paper towels. You want the fries be flexible but not to brown at this point in the process.

Frying the potatoes. After you’ve blanched the fries, raise the temperature of the oil to 350 degrees. Add the blanched fries back into the oil, again working in batches and adjusting the heat to maintain temperature.

French fries frying

Fry until the fries take on a nice golden brown color and crispness. Feel free to scoop one or two out as you go to test for doneness. Remove the fries and drain on the sheet pan lined with fresh paper towels. Immediately season the fries with salt. Serve while still hot and with your preferred choice of dipping sauce, or without. Two simple flavored mayos below.

Curry Mayo
3 TBSP mayonaise
1 tspn curry powder
Salt and pepper

Mix the curry powder, along with a pinch of both salt and pepper, into the mayo until fully incorporated. If you want more curry flavor, add more powder in 1/4 tspn increments until you get the desired flavor.

Herb and Garlic Mayo
3 TBSP mayonaise
1 TBSP freshly chopped thyme and rosemary
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper

Mix the thyme, rosemary, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper into the mayo until fully incorporated. Serve.

French fries

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4 thoughts on “Cooking School: French Fries

  1. These look just incredible. Right away they remind me of excellent fries at Brasserie Beck. Have you had those? Did yours blow them right out of the water?!

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