|8 cups||Peanut oil;, (approximately)|
|1½ pounds||Potatoes; medium-large all-purpose or boiling potatoes|
|4||Cloves garlic; unpeeled and lightly crushed|
|4||Sprigs rosemary; fresh,, (each 6 to 8 inches log), cut in half|
|10||Sprigs thyme; fresh|
|4||Branches of fresh sage|
|2||Sprigs oregano; fresh|
|2 teaspoons||Sea salt|
|Black pepper; in a pepper mill|
9- to 10-inch pan for frying, with sides at least 4 inches high Frying thermometer (one that covers the range between 200° and 400°) Long cooking fork
Round Skimmer about 5 inches in diameter Directions:
Fill the pan with 1¾ inches of peanut oil and place over the highest heat on your most powerful burner. (Owners of commercial stoves should reduce the heat by nearly half after the potatoes go in) Immerse the thermometer in the oil. Wash and peel the potatoes and with a French-fry cutter or a kitchen knife, cut them into long strips with a square cross section about ⅜ inch on a side. Do not wash the pieces but dry them carefully with a cloth and keep them tightly wrapped. Get the garlic and herbs ready.
When the oil reaches 360°F. to 370°F., add all the potatoes. Do not use a frying basket. Be careful not to splash the oil. The oil will bubble furiously and drop to between 240°F. and 270°F. before the temperature rises again. Stir continually with the long fork until the potatoes are done, in 10 to 12 minutes, adding the herbs and garlic as follows: About 2 ½ minutes into the frying, stir in the garlic cloves.
Six minutes into the frying, the potatoes should begin to take on a golden color, and the temperature should reach 280°F. to 300°F.
Stir in the rosemary sprigs.
A minute or so later, stir in the thyme, sage, and oregano.
Nine minutes into the frying, sprinkle with the salt. (Yes, right into the potatoes and oil.)
The potatoes should now be a deep golden color, and the oil temperature should have climbed to about 320°F.
A minute later, fish out a piece of potato with tongs or chopsticks, blot it on a paper tower, wait a few seconds, and take a bite. It should be crisp, and instead of bending, it should be stiff. The insides should be creamy, with no hint of a raw taste. You are not likely to need more than another minute or two of frying before the potatoes attain this state. If the temperature reaches 360°F., lower the heat.
When the Tuscan fries are nearly ready, grind 6 to 8 turnings of the pepper mill over them in the oil and stir well. Using the skimmer, lift the potatoes from the oil (with the herbs and garlic--all of them delicious).
Place the potatoes, herbs, and garlic in a basket or deep dish lined with paper, blot the top, transfer to a paper-lined plate, and serve immediately (or keep warm in a 250°F. oven while you make another batch) Serves 2 Tuscans, 3 or 4 Americans Note: The oil can be used again to make additional batches of potatoes, but only within a few hours--salt breaks down frying oil. After the first frying, use only half the herbs and salt (but all the garlic), because the oil becomes imbued with their flavors. And make sure the oil remains 1 ¾ inches deep.
Source: The Man Who Ate Everything; Jeffrey Steingarten Page(s): 405-407
Posted to bbq-digest by Gary Wiviott <gwiv@...> on Aug 11, 1999, converted by MM_Buster v2.0l.
Random recipe of the day