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
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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