As simple as they are good French fries can be one of the toughest
dishes to cook. Here is a successful formula.
- Peanut or other vegetable oil, for frying
- 2 pounds baking potatoes, like russets
- Salt, to taste
Pour oil in a deep fryer or heavy saucepan to reach halfway up the
sides of the pan. Heat to 325 degrees F; use a deep fry thermometer
to determine this. While the oil is heating, peel the potatoes and
push through a French fry cutter to form uniform sticks. As you
go, place the cut potatoes in a bowl of ice water to release some
of the starch and to keep them from browning.
Dry the potato strips thoroughly; this will keep the oil from splattering.
Fry the potatoes in batches so the pan isn’t crowded and the
oil temperature does not plummet. Cook for 3 minutes until they
are soft but not browned. Remove the potatoes with a long-handled
metal strainer and drain on brown paper bags.
Bring oil temperature up to 375 degrees F. Return the par-fried
potatoes to the oil in batches and cook a second time for 4 minutes
until golden and crispy. Drain on fresh brown paper bags then place
in a serving bowl lined with paper towels. Salt and serve immediately.