Classic french fries

Yield: 4 Servings

Measure Ingredient
4 larges Russet potatoes; (Idaho) peeled and cut into 1/4\" by 1/4\" thick lengths -- reserve nonuniform pieces for other uses
2 quarts Peanut oil
4 tablespoons Bacon fat; (optional) strained
\N \N To taste salt and pepper

1. Rinse cut fries in large bowl under cold running water until water turns from milky colored to clear. Cover with at least 1 inch of water, then cover with ice. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes (Can be refrigerated up to 3 days ahead.)

2. In 5-quart pot or Dutch oven fitted with clip-on-the-pot candy thermometer, or in large electric fryer, heat oil over medium-low heat to 325 degrees. As oil heats, add bacon grease. Oil will bubble up when you add fries, so be sure you have a least 3 inches of room at top of cooking pot.

3. Pour off ice and water, quickly wrap potatoes in a clean tea towel, and thoroughly pat dry. Increase heat to medium-high and add fries, a handful at a time, to hot oil. (Do no overfill.) Fry, stirring with Chinese skimmer or large-hole slotted spoon, until potatoes are limp and soft and start to turn from white to blond, 6 to 8 minutes. (Oil temperature will drop 50 to 60 degrees during this frying.) Use skimmer or slotted spoon to transfer fries to brown paper bag to drain; let rest at least 10 minutes (can stand at room temperature up to 2 hours or be wrapped in paper towels, sealed in zipper-lock bag, and frozen up to 1 month).

4. When ready to serve fries, reheat oil to 350 degrees. Using paper bag as a funnel, pour potatoes into hot oil. Discard bag and set up second paper bag. Fry potatoes, stirring fairly constantly, until golden brown and puffed, about 1 minute. Transfer to paper bag and drain again. Season to taste with salt and pepper, or other seasoned salt. Serve immediately.

Recipe By : Cook's Illlustrated July/August 1996 Fred Thomas Posted to MC-Recipe Digest V1 #294 Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 17:27:41 +0000 From: Marilyn Thomson <mthomson@...> NOTES : For those who like it, flavoring the oil with a few tablespoon of bacon grease adds a subtle, meaty flavor to the fries. Their texture, however, is not affected if the bacon grease is omitted. Once you've peeled the potatoes, you can use a mandolin or V-slicer, rather than cut them by hand. To prepare steak fries, cut the potatoes ⅓" to ½" thick, and increase the cooking time to 10 to 12 minutes during the initial frying and just a few seconds longer in the final fry.

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