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Subject: I made french fries! rss

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And they were delicious!

I tried Cook's Illustrated's recipe for cold-start fries. You cut yukon gold potatoes into 1/4" batons and then put them in a pot with room temp oil and then turn the heat on high and boil them for 15 minutes and then give them a stir until they are brown and crispy. They worked out really well. I bought a quart of peanut oil and then threw in 2 cups of leftover duck fat that I got for free from work. The duck fat was left over from making confit and it smelled of garlic and rosemary, but those flavors were not present in the fries themselves.

Nazhuret grilled us some burgers too, so we had a lovely evening of burgers and fries and cheap inexpensive red wine.

I've also been beer-battering fish for fish tacos lately, so I think I can now make good fish and chips at home. Yay! Cheaper that buying them at a restaurant! Woo!
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Billy McBoatface
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Duck fat makes everything better. It's like bacon.
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zorazen wrote:
1/4" batons


I've never heard 'baton' used in this fashion. Is that a new word usage to jazz-up an old concept for which there exist perfectly good words or is 'baton' significantly different than say 'julienne'?

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Chony McChuukface
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matthew.marquand wrote:
zorazen wrote:
1/4" batons


I've never heard 'baton' used in this fashion. Is that a new word usage to jazz-up an old concept for which there exist perfectly good words or is 'baton' significantly different than say 'julienne'?



I am not a chef because I thought the word strips would be fine.
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Bela's dead and Vampira won't talk
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wmshub wrote:
Duck fat makes everything better. It's like bacon.


Sorry bacon, I love ya, but you've got nothing on duck fat. Duck fat fries are the side of the gods.

Regarding batons vs. julienne, batons (even smaller batons like these 1/4" ones) are larger than a julienne.
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Jeff
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I have to ask - what's the point in starting them in room temp oil, and bringing the heat up as opposed to dropping them in hot oil? Does it make them cook better somehow?
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jeffreyac wrote:
I have to ask - what's the point in starting them in room temp oil, and bringing the heat up as opposed to dropping them in hot oil? Does it make them cook better somehow?


I would suspect the center of the fry would be cooked more thoroughly without burning the outside (or causing it to be overly dark) since they've been exposed to the oil for a longer period of time at a lower temperature.
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jeffreyac wrote:
I have to ask - what's the point in starting them in room temp oil, and bringing the heat up as opposed to dropping them in hot oil? Does it make them cook better somehow?


Traditionally fries are blanched in oil (cooked at relatively low temperature) first and then cooked again at higher temperature. Sometimes they're also rinsed and pre-soaked in cold water, too. This is a lot of work, but makes the fries crispy on the outside, airy on the inside, and altogether delicious.

Alternately, one go of high temperature frying tends to make fries soggy.

I don't know exactly why this method works, honestly, but I imagine starting in cool oil gives the inside of the fry more time to cook as it comes to temp, while ending at a high temperature still makes the outside of the fries crisp.

Thanks for suggesting the technique, zora, I'll definitely have to try it!
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Erik D
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Eggie fried up some sweet potatoes along with some purple potatoes. The finished product looked like slices of chedder with beets. (They were awesome, by the way.)
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Jim Cote
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The best fries around here (Lisa's Pizza) are cooked in 2 stages. "Blanch" them in oil at a lower temp. This cooks the potato all the way through. The fries are then left in baskets until ordered. Then they are cooked again at a high temp until crispy on the outside. I suspect this "room temp to high" process achieves the same thing in a single step.

Edit: Someone beat me to it.


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ekted wrote:

Edit: Someone beat me to it.


Someone beat me to that post, too.
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The best fries around here in my opinion are my mother's "blushed fries". Cut the potato in small cubes cook it until they are soft, but not mushy. Spring some wheat flour over it and fry in hot sunflower oil.
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Bear Gordon
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I used to make Tika's Spiced Potatoes from some Dragonlance book back in the DnD days. My mother loves to bring up the story every chance she gets.
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beerbear wrote:
I used to make Tika's Spiced Potatoes from some Dragonlance book back in the DnD days. My mother loves to bring up the story every chance she gets.


recipe please!
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Jim Cote
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yohanleafheart wrote:
The best fries around here in my opinion are my mother's "blushed fries". Cut the potato in small cubes cook it until they are soft, but not mushy. Spring some wheat flour over it and fry in hot sunflower oil.

Sounds yummy. Cook = boil? Is wheat flour different from regular flour?
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Bear Gordon
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yohanleafheart wrote:
beerbear wrote:
I used to make Tika's Spiced Potatoes from some Dragonlance book back in the DnD days. My mother loves to bring up the story every chance she gets.


recipe please!


You would ask. I don't remember exactly. I do remember that they were very hit or miss and missed most of the time.
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le_cygne wrote:
jeffreyac wrote:
I have to ask - what's the point in starting them in room temp oil, and bringing the heat up as opposed to dropping them in hot oil? Does it make them cook better somehow?


Traditionally fries are blanched in oil (cooked at relatively low temperature) first and then cooked again at higher temperature. Sometimes they're also rinsed and pre-soaked in cold water, too. This is a lot of work, but makes the fries crispy on the outside, airy on the inside, and altogether delicious.

Alternately, one go of high temperature frying tends to make fries soggy.

I don't know exactly why this method works, honestly, but I imagine starting in cool oil gives the inside of the fry more time to cook as it comes to temp, while ending at a high temperature still makes the outside of the fries crisp.

Thanks for suggesting the technique, zora, I'll definitely have to try it!


No problem. The Cook's recipe stated that you must use Yukon Golds for the recipe to work properly. They said that russets toughen up too much.
As for the point of starting them cold? It's fast and easy and hands-off. You don't even need a thermometer for them.
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matthew.marquand wrote:
zorazen wrote:
1/4" batons


I've never heard 'baton' used in this fashion. Is that a new word usage to jazz-up an old concept for which there exist perfectly good words or is 'baton' significantly different than say 'julienne'?



Baton is a fancy word for stick. It's thicker than a matchstick or julienne.
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