Help - Trying to make fries at home!

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by frygirl, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. frygirl

    frygirl

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    I am wondering how important it is to be using the Idaho Russet potato instead of, say, a WA Russet or CO Russet?  I am in Hawaii and I don't think we get the Idaho Russets over here.  :(  

    I have been trying the double frying method but the fries have always been coming out soggy.  It's so hard to figure out what is the one (or many things) I'm doing wrong! 

    Hints would be appreciated!!!  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/crazy.gif
     
  2. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    In this instance one can say a rose is a rose is a rose. Or a russet. The texture, water content, and starch components will be pretty much the same no matter where it's grown.

    I would guess that it's your technique.

    Double frying requires more than just dipping twice. There's a radical change in oil temperature as well.

    For the first dip you are actually just cooking the spuds. So you work at a comparatively low temperature---300-320F or thereabouts. Drain the potatoes and set them aside. Then, just before service, you want to quick-fry them at high temperature---375F---for just long enough for them to brown and crisp up.

    Once out of the oil, season the fries and serve immediately.
     
  3. gerdosh

    gerdosh

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    We have two groups of common potatoes: the dry, high-starch, mealy and fluffy russet and the lower-starch, moist, waxy types that include white and red potatoes. Higher starch potato is better for frying and baking and it is the choice for French fries. I am sure you have some russet type in HI--they are universal everywhere.
    As far as for frying, Heirloomer gave the correct answer--let them cool first then fry at high heat quickly.
     
  4. cabosailor

    cabosailor

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    Would it be possible to "oven fry" the potatoes for a while to skip the first low temp fry?  This would not be needed in a restaurant environment where the fryer is always on but for the home cook I think it would mean less mess.  So maybe put the fries on a cookie sheet in a 400 deg oven for about 15 - 20 min, let cool and then give a final fry in oil at 360-375?

    Rich
     
  5. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Would it be possible to "oven fry" the potatoes for a while to skip the first low temp fry?

    No.  At least not in the sense that you'd get the same results.  You want to keep as much moisture as possible in the potato, so that with the second fry you not only crisp the skin but create steam that blows the chip up and makes it fluffy.

    Indeed, if you cut the potatoes in a certain double secret way (big 8 sided lozenges), the same method is used for pomme souffle.

    Also, you don't really want to cool the potatoes too much after their first cook.  They should go into the hot oil within a few minutes, say four or five, after coming out of the cold. 

    BDL
     
  6. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Cut them into wedges and fry them from raw to finished.  Start on low temp like Pomme Souffle.  Use a toothpick to check for doneness.  When they're almost done turn the heat up just like Pomme Souffle.  :D

    Pomme Souffle is a lot harder to master though.  Maybe half of them come out souffled.
     
  7. gunnar

    gunnar

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    The "oven fry" technique your asking about would be a parbake.  We did this in a restaurant i worked in that served sweet potato fries. They don't have the right starch value to just deep fry to doness, you'll end up with a burnt crust with nothing inside.

    Place fresh cut fries in a large bowl and drizzle with a little oil (enough to cover after tossing ) and a bit of salt, toss to coat evenly. Spread onto cookie sheets and bake for about 15-20 minutes at 300 (american), maybe even a little longer depending on thickness and type of potato. Once the fries are steamy and soft but not mushy, let cool.  I like to use as hot an oil as I can, I don't think I have ever had a fryer that went over 410 though, but I could be wrong.  Any way, fry away, the thinner the cut the crispier it will be, steak fries lose that crispy skin almost immediately from the internal steam they generate, though they do stay hot longer.
     
  8. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Seems I saw Pepin do pomme souffle with thin chip type slices on Jacques and Juila.
     
  9. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I'v had good results with twice cooking, as KY described.  A step I often find works well is to soak the uncooked french fries in water for a few hours to release the starch.  After wards I spin dry them and lay them on clean towels to dry them completely.  The drier they are the crisper they will cook.

    If I'm making them just for myself I'll skip the second fry and just fry them through once.  I'll be honest and admit that I do like a soggy french fry.

    I like to fry in peanut oil.
     
  10. skatz85

    skatz85

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    word i like what everyone stated. blanching and then frying makes for some good tasty, crispy fries.
     
  11. mgchef

    mgchef

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    Put wedges in a bows l of cold water overnight. This remove starch.The starch blocks steam getting out, and the steam pushes the fat away, so they don't become soggy. Also, they can become gummy from mix of water and starch trapped in fries
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2010
  12. deltadude

    deltadude

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    If you live in Calif, then you most likely have had "In and Out Burger" fries.  You can see them hand press fresh potatoes into fries.  I believe the only additional step before they go into the fryer is to towel dry.  InO fries are not the most crisp fries, they crisp enough to satisfy millions of customers, but they are made fresh and the difference is noticeable.
     
  13. dc sunshine

    dc sunshine

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  14. homemadecook

    homemadecook

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     This great! Look so delicious, later after my class I will try this one. Thank you Sunshine.
     
  15. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Hi my name is Spud and I've been shooting ketchup for seven years...  Trust Blumenthal to come up with "junkie fries."  I'll bet Keller is working on a 12 Step method for cooking potatoes.

    Just when you thought the world was safe,
    BDL
     
  16. gunnar

    gunnar

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    lol, real haystack fries.
     
  17. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Not only real hay, but Blumenthal's found the needle. 

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2010
  18. frygirl

    frygirl

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    Ok so i tried the following:

    -cut (Washington) russet potatoes into 3/8" thick strips
    -soaked overnight in a bowl of water, changed water 3-4 times
    -dried strips with towel
    -heated electric fryer to about 335F (as i know it will drop, according to my candy thermometer)
    -placed strips in small batches, for about 2 minutes... the strips started getting slightly brown at this point, which i think it shouldn't be?  Also, when taken out, they looked kind of clear/see through and soggyish already
    -raised fryer to 375F (max on mine)
    -after about 10 min, fried small batches of fries again for 2-3 minutes, turned a nice golden color...
    ... but STILL SOGGY

    sigh.. any comments on my procedure?  Could it be my potatoes, my deep fryer (waring pro DF55, 1 2/7 lb), heat consistency (it didn't stay at the temps, but about 10-15 degrees lower for a while).  Do they need to cool to room temp in between fryings? 

    frustrating!
     
  19. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Well, the potatoes need to cool completely before your fry them again, that's the whole point of the double frying process.

    Something you may want to think about:  deep fryers don't do a very good job of deep frying.  Just because you can set it to a certain temperature doesn't mean it's actually reaching that temperature.  You're better off using a wide pot to fry in and a thermometer.

    For my french fries I fry in my Le Creuset.  I make fries every couple of weeks and afterwards I simply strain the used oil in a plastic container and keep it for next time.

    Sorry you're having trouble.  We've all been there and do overs are half the fun.
     
  20. mgchef

    mgchef

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    Yeah, don't let them get brown on the first fry. And try lower starting temperature, i use 320. Also, let them rest on a baking rack to drain the oil so they're not soggy. Don't drain on paper towels. It work for me.