Is there a kid, or an adult, out there who doesn’t enjoy a plate of crispy golden French fries sprinkled with salt and dipped in katchup?
It is funny that French Fries, considered by many to be among the most popular foods in the world, is quite a recent dish. For the popularity of potatoes didn’t spread until the last two centuries! Some stories even say that many parts of the western world, up until 300 years ago, didn’t consider potatoes to be edible.
Even though frying potatoes is quite easy, many people find it difficult to prepare crispy potatoes - or French fries as we call them - from fresh potatoes, so they buy ready-made frozen potato fries which probably contain unhealthy additives!
Preparing crispy French fries at home is not difficult, just follow these few steps and tips to get crispy French fries every time.
How to prepare Crispy French Fries:
- Choose potatoes that don’t have greenish skin, as those tend to be older and exposed longer to sun and light.
- Half-fill a medium-seized bowl with very cold water. Add a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of soda bicarbonate and mix to dissolve salt and soda. The cold water and soda contribute to the crispiness, while the salt gives the fries a salty flavor. If preparing more than 5 large potatoes, you will need more water so increase the soda and salt.
- Wash and peel potatoes and cut the potatoes making sure to not cut them too thick. You want the potato fries to be of similar thickness – length isn’t as important as thickness. This ensures even cooking of the individual fries.
- Soak potatoes in the cold water mixed with soda and salt. Let stand in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Heat vegetable oil (canola, corn or sunflower) in pan. Oil needs to be very hot but not smoking. To know when the oil is ready, add a very small piece of bread to the oil, when the bread starts frying (lots of bubbles around it and bread floats to the surface) the oil is ready. Remove bread. Note: for dark golden French Fries, add olive oil to the frying oil, the ratio should be 1/3 olive oil and 2/3 other vegetable oil. Olive oil adds a special flavor and gives French Fries a darker golden color, but its burning point is much lower than other oils so it is not recommended for deep frying. My potatoes were fried in canola oil with no added olive oil; had I added olive oil they would be an even darker golden color.
- Dry potatoes well with a kitchen towel before adding them to the oil. Oil should always cover the potatoes. We dry them to reduce water added to oil.
- Don’t mix the potatoes until you notice that the outer crust is beginning to form. After that mix every few minutes so that the ones at the bottom don’t over-burn (you may have a few crispier and darker potatoes at the bottom). It is important not to mix the potatoes at the start because they are soft and easily breakable.
- Drain from oil and place French Fries on a plate lined with tissue paper to absorb excess oil.
- Sprinkle salt on potatoes while hot. You can also sprinkle with ground black pepper as they add a delicious extra flavor.
Hope you enjoyed today’s cooking tip: How to Get Crispy French Fries. Bon appetite.
Any special tips you can share for frying extra crispy French fries?
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